MUMBAI: Maharashtra has elected 23 women members for the 15th assembly, seven more than what it had elected back in 2014. Eleven out of these 23 have been reelected, though prominent members like Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde won’t be in the 288-member lower house of the state legislature.
In 2014, the state legislature had 16 members. Two out of them, Amita Chavan, wife of former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, and Medha Kulkarni of BJP from Kothrud in Pune, didn’t contest this time. While Amita vacated her seat for her husband, Kulkarni had to make room for state party president Chandrakant Patil.
The sitting legislators who were elected on Thursday were Manda Mhatre (Belapur), Manisha Chaudhari (Dahisar), Vidya Thakur (Goregaon), Devyani Farande (Nashik Central), Seema Hiray (Nashik West), Madhuri Misal (Parvati), Monica Rajale (Shevgaon) and Bharati Lavhekar (Versova). All of them are from the BJP.
Congress MLAs Praniti Shinde (Solapur City Central), Yashomati Thakur (Teosa, Yavatmal) and Varsha Gaikwad (Dharavi-Mumbai) also retained their seats.
NCP MLA Suman Patil too retained her Tasgaon- Kavathe Mahankal seat.
The newcomer women legislators are Saroj Ahire (Devlali) of the NCP, Lata Sonavane (Chopda) and Yamini Jadhav (Byculla) of the Shiv Sena; Shweta Mahale (Chikli), Meghana Bordikar (Jintur), Namita Mundada (Kaij) and Mukta Tilak (Kasba Peth) of BJP; and Congress’ Pratibha Dhanorkar (Warora) and Sulbha Khodke (Amravati).
Two independents -- Geeta Jain (Mira Bhayander) and Manjula Gavit (Sakri) have also won. Both are dissident BJP candidates.
Among 3,237 candidates who contested assembly election, 235 were women.