– Photo: Social Media
After the introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha in the name of ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Act’, the debate regarding women’s participation in politics intensified. All political parties including BJP and Congress are claiming to advance women. If we look at the statistics of the last five elections of Rajasthan Assembly, BJP has given tickets to 110 women candidates, while Congress has given tickets to 104 women candidates.
For the first time since 2003, BJP fielded fewer women candidates in the assembly elections in 2018 than Congress. During this period, Congress had fielded 27 women and BJP had fielded 23 women. Earlier in 2013, BJP had made 26 women, Congress 24, in 2008 BJP had made 31, Congress 23, in 2003 BJP had made 22, Congress 18 women as its candidates in the assembly elections. In 1998, Congress had given party tickets to 12 women and BJP to eight.
Women’s representation in the assembly increased, but it is very less
Women’s representation in Rajasthan politics is gradually increasing, but it is still very low. At present there are only 27 women MLAs in the state. However, in the first elections held in 1952, only two women, Yashoda Devi and Kamla Beniwal, became MLAs in the state. In the initial elections, the number of women MLAs was counted as a unit only. For the first time, 17 women MLAs were elected in the 1985 elections. After this, 28 women became MLAs in 2008 and the same figure remained intact in the 2013 elections also. But, this figure came down again in the 2018 elections.
Women contested elections, but did not get public votes
If we look at the statistics of the last five years of Rajasthan Assembly elections, 696 women contested the elections, out of which the deposits of 458 were confiscated. It is clear from this that women contested the elections, but the public did not vote for them. See the figures of five years…
- 69 women contested the 1998 assembly elections, out of which 44 had their deposits forfeited. 14 women became MLAs.
- In 2003, 118 women contested the elections, but the deposits of 76 were confiscated. Only 12 women were elected MLAs.
- 154 women contested the 2008 assembly elections, out of which 95 had their deposits forfeited. 28 women reached the assembly as MLAs.
- 166 women contested the 2013 assembly elections, out of which the deposits of 105 were forfeited. Only 28 women could become MLAs.
- 189 women contested the 2018 elections, but the deposits of 138 were confiscated. 27 women reached the assembly as MLAs.
Now every party will have to give tickets to at least 66 women.
There are 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan. If we look at the figures of the last five years, all the political parties of the state together do not give tickets to 200 women candidates. In 2018, 189 women, including candidates from all parties and independents, had contested the elections. But, after the Women’s Reservation Bill becomes law, all the parties in the state will have to give tickets to women on at least 66 seats.
This will be the effect of women’s reservation bill
There are 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan. After the Women’s Reservation Bill becomes law, the number of women MLAs will increase to 66. Similarly, eight seats of Lok Sabha will be reserved for women. Let us tell you that currently there are three women MPs in Rajasthan and all three are from BJP.
Will parties increase the representation of women in this election?
The process of the Women’s Reservation Bill becoming a law is still long, but since the introduction of this bill in the Lok Sabha, there is a debate going on about the representation of women in elections. Assembly elections are to be held in Rajasthan after a few months. In such a situation, a large participation of women can be seen in this election also.