IMPHAL: Though women voters outnumber men in the electoral rolls in Manipur, only a small number of them have featured in the candidate lists of political parties in the upcoming state Assembly elections here.
The total number of voters in the state is around 19 lakh and the number of women voters is much higher than that of men. Women play an important role in Manipuri society but the number of women candidates put up by the political parties is far less when compared to that of men, sources from Election Commission said.
The ruling Congress and the BJP which are the main contenders in the upcoming polls have fielded only two women candidates each. The TMC which came out with a list 24 candidates also has two women candidates.
Human rights activist Irom Sharmila's Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA), contesting from three seats has fielded two women, including Sharmila herself.
The National People's Party (NPP) has fielded only one woman candidate out of their 21 candidates. A senior Congress leader of Manipur state Congress unit said, "Actually, we had only received applications from four women candidates. Only two were given tickets based on their ability to win the seats. And secondly, in Manipur, women are not very much interested in politics."
Keeping aside their ideological and political differences, the views of Congress were echoed by the BJP state unit on this issue. "We had given tickets based on the winning ability of candidates. And women are not very much interested in politics," a senior state BJP leader said.
(With inputs from PTI)