Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s jibe that BJP-RSS did not give any importance to women seemed to have proved correct at least when it comes to fielding women candidates in the polls by the saffron party.
Congress chief’s gender bias barb against BJP has proved completely correct if one goes by the number of women candidates fielded by BJP for the forthcoming Assembly polls in the three Northeast states.
The saffron party has fielded only seven woman candidates for Assembly polls in the three NE states—Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Targeting BJP and RSS, Rahul during his recent visit to Meghalaya had alleged that they did not give any importance to women.
“The BJP’s thinking is that till women are silent they are good, when they start speaking up they try to shut them (women) up,” Rahul had said.
Of the 20 candidates fielded by BJP in Nagaland, only one (5%) is woman. The party has given ticket to Rakhila in Tuensang Sadar II assembly constituency of the State.
Similarly in Meghalaya, which is a matrilineal state, the party has fielded only two (4.4%) women candidates. The BJP will contest in 45 seats in the state.
The party has fielded Marian Maring in Nongpoh (ST) constituency and Pelcy Snaitang in Ranikor (ST) constituency.
Meghalaya BJP vice president Moromi K Marak on Sunday resigned from the party alleging gender bias after she was denied ticket to contest the polls.
Marak, an advocate by profession was aspiring to contest from Dalu constituency in West Garo Hills district of the state.
BJP member of Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council Violet Lyngdoh on Friday quit the party hours after she was denied ticket. She also levelled similar charges against the BJP. Violet Lyngdoh is the sister of state BJP president Sibun Lyngdoh.
Though the figure is bit better compared to Nagaland and Meghalaya, Tripura is also no exception.
Of the 45 saffron party candidates, there are just four (8.8%) women—Pratima Bhowmik, Kalyani Roy, Kaveri Sinha and Santana Chakma—in the state.
This is not even half the percentage of seats that the women rights organisation has been demanding in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies (33%).
Tripura will go for poll on February 18 and the polls both in Nagaland and Meghalaya will be held on February 27.
While Bhowmik will contest from Dhanpur constituency, Roy will fight the poll battle from Teliamura seat. Similarly, Sinha and Chakma will contest the polls from Chandipur and Pencharthal (ST) seat respectively.
“It is shameful that even 69 years after Independence, women are still fighting for 33 per cent reservation. Overall, we need more representation from women in politics from all parties,” a student of NEHU said.