RANCHI: Though Jharkhand is a poor and backward state, but when it comes to female political representation in the Assembly, it has only increased over the years.
The ruling BJP in Jharkhand has given tickets to 5 women in the first list of 52 candidates announced on Sunday for the assembly elections to be held in five phases beginning November 30. Though the Congress and the JMM, in their first list, have not given tickets to any woman, it is expected that they are likely to hand out more tickets to women candidates from the next phase of elections. According to the formula finalised among the three alliance partners, the JMM will contest 43, Congress 31 and RJD 7 seats in the 81-member House.
The All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), the BJP's ally, has also fielded two women out of 11 candidates declared so far, though its alliance with the saffron party is still in limbo due to a tussle over seat sharing. The AJSU has demanded 19 seats from the BJP.
In the 2005 Assembly election, only 5 women were elected to the Jharkhand Assembly. Since then, women's participation in the legislature has only increased. In 2009, 8 women were elected and in 2014, the number of women MLAs went up to 9.
In the by-elections, two more women candidates got elected from Silli and Gomia Assembly constituencies taking the female representatives in the Jharkhand Assembly to 11, the highest so far.
Now in this election, the BJP has fielded Louis Marandi from Dumka, Neera Yadav from Kodarma, Ragini Singh from Jharia, Menka Sardar from Potka and Pushpa Devi from Chhattarpur. The AJSU has given tickets to Sunita Chaudhary from Ramgarh and Neeru Shanti from Lohardaga.
Though the opposition JMM, Congress and the RJD have not yet given a ticket to any woman candidate in their first list, sources said women will get more representation in the next list to be released any time now for the second phase of elections.