CHANDIGARH: From the three states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh only one woman has made it to the 16th Lok Sabha. Harshimrat Kaur Badal, sitting MP from Bathinda is the lone woman who won, while all other women candidates from the states drew a blank.
A total of 19 women candidates contested from 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, whereas in five constituencies there was no woman candidate in fray.
In the remaining eight constituencies where there is a representation of women candidates, Faridkot seat alone has five women. The state had 253 contestants in all. There was no representation of the fair sex from Amritsar, Ludhiana, Khadoor Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ferozepur Lok Sabha seats.
The prominent women candidates who contested this time were Union Minister Preneet Kaur from Patiala, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni from Anandpur Sahib and SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Other women candidates in fray included Jyoti Mann of AAP from Jalandhar, from where two more women contested as Independents, while from Gurdaspur Santosh Kumari of MEDP party. In Faridkot, both SAD and Bahujan Mukti Party have fielded women candidates sharing the same name, Paramjit Kaur, while the other three women in fray were Independents.
In the 2009 LSpolls, 13 women out of a total of 218 candidates had a run for a Parliament seat in Punjab, of which only four won.
In the neighbouring state of Haryana for the first time in last 15 years, only 10 women contested among 230 candidates this general elections, which accounts for less than five per cent. All women candidates could not take a lead and managed to get only third, sixth or seventh positions.
In the past, only two women candidates made it to Parliament on two occasions.
In 1999, Sudha Yadav of the BJP and Kailasho Devi of the INLD were sent to Parliament, while in 2009 Congress nominees Shruti and Kumari Selja made it to the LS. While from Himachal Pradesh two women candidates contested. Both of them lost this time.