Delhi LS polls: Empowerment promises in manifestos, but only 24 of 162 candidates are women

This figure was less than 10 percent in the last Lok Sabha elections, as only 16 women participated in the contest.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.Express illustrations

NEW DELHI: After 28 years, the number of women contesting the Lok Sabha election in the city is at its highest. This time, 24 women are in the fray. The last time 24 female candidates were in the fray was in 1996.

This figure was less than 10 percent in the last Lok Sabha elections, as only 16 women participated in the contest.

However, their share is only 14 percent compared with their male counterparts. East Delhi is the only seat among seven constituencies where no single woman has been fielded as a candidate.

An analysis of the approved nominations showed that most of these women come from regional parties or are Independent candidates.

Among the national parties, only BJP and BSP fielded women candidates, two and one, respectively. AAP and Congress did not field any women candidates in this election.

The situation contrasts with the poll promises the parties made to woo female voters.

From the Lakhpati Didi scheme by the BJP to the financial assistance to women of poor households by the Congress and the Rs 1,000 monthly assistance to women by the AAP, all parties are eyeing to encash women's votes but have failed to ensure equal participation in the poll contest.

In 1996, 523 candidates were in the fray from the seven Lok Sabha seats, 24 of whom were women.

That year, former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj won from South Delhi, and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar scored from the Karol Bagh constituency. The Karol Bagh was later merged into West Delhi in 2009 after a delimitation exercise.

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