LS Polls: Haryana with 16 beats neighbour Punjab in fielding women candidates

The Aam Aadmi Party was the first to announce candidates for all the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab but it has not given ticket to any woman. Tuesday was the last day to file nominations.
LS Polls: Haryana with 16 beats neighbour Punjab in fielding women candidates

CHANDIGARH: Four major parties in Punjab have fielded only six women candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, with BJP picking three, Congress two, and SAD one. AAP has not fielded any woman candidate. In neighbouring Haryana, parties have fielded 16 women and one in Himachal Pradesh.

The Aam Aadmi Party was the first to announce candidates for all the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab but it has not given ticket to any woman. Tuesday was the last day to file nominations.

BJP’s three women candidates are Preneet Kaur, wife of former CM Amarinder Singh, from Patiala; Anita Som Parkash, wife of Union minister of state Som Parkash, from Hoshiarpur (reserved); and former IAS officer Parampal Kaur Sidhu, daughter-in-law of Akali Dal leader SS Maluka, from Bathinda. Preneet was the Congresss MP, but she quit the party and joined the BJP.

Congress’ two woman candidates are Yamini Gomar from Hoshiarpur and Amarjit Kaur Sahoke from Faridkot, both reserve seats. The Shiromani Akali Dal has fielded MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, wife of party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, from Bathinda for the fourth time.

A former Union minister, Harsimrat defeated Raninder Singh, son Amarinder Singh, from Bathinda in 2009 LS polls. She defeated her brother-in-law Manpreet Singh Badal of Congress in 2014, and current Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring in 2019.

A former government schoolteacher, Sahoke resigned from her job in 2013 and joined SAD and was elected as a zila parishad member. She also remained chairman of the zila parishad from 2013 to 2018. She contested assembly elections from Jagraon in 2017 but was defeated. Then she quit SAD and joined Congress. The 49-year old Gomar was AAP candidate from Hoshiarpur and came third. She resigned from AAP in 2016 and joined the Congress.

“It is unfortunate that AAP has not given representation to any woman in the parliamentary polls. The party often talks about women empowerment and equality but could not find even a single woman candidate,’’ said Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress leader.

In Haryana, BJP has given ticket to Banto Kataria from Amabla (reserved) and Congress to former union minister and ex-state unit president Kumari Selja from Sirsa.INLD has announced Sunaina Chautala from Hisar and she faces her cousin sister-in-law Naina Singh Chautala of JJP.

Haryana Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Aggarwal said that after withdrawal of nominations, 223 candidates, including 16 women, are left in the contest for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Hisar has the maximum women candidates — three out of 28. Kurukshetra has most number of candidates at 31, but only one woman. At Ambala, 14 candidates, including two women, are contesting. In Sirsa, one woman is among 19 candidates. Karnal has two women candidates, Rohtak two, Bhiwani-Mahendragarh two, Gurgaon one, and Faridabad two.

In Himachal, BJP has fielded actress-turned-politician Kangana Ranaut from Mandi.

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