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Gujarat: Only 4 women candidates figure in BJP and Congress lists

It’s worth noting that Gujarat has approximately 2.39 crore women voters, constituting around 50 per cent of the total registered voters.

gujaratAHMEDABAD: Despite the rhetoric surrounding women’s empowerment and the advocacy for a 33 per cent reservation for women, political parties in Gujarat display reluctance in nominating female candidates for electoral positions.

Both the BJP and Congress, as major parties in the state, are guilty of this reluctance. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP secured six women MPs out of 26 seats in Gujarat.

However, in the current 2024 elections, the BJP has fielded only four women candidates. Similarly, the Congress party has also nominated just four women candidates for the Lok Sabha elections this time. It’s worth noting that Gujarat has approximately 2.39 crore women voters, constituting around 50 per cent of the total registered voters.

The representation of women MPs and candidates in Gujarat is on a consistent decline. Among the total of 26 seats in Gujarat, both major parties have only nominated four women candidates collectively. Among the four women nominated by the BJP are Poonam Madam for the Jamnagar seat, Shobhana Baraiya for the Sabar Kantha seat, Neemu Bambhania for the Bhavnagar seat, and Rekha Ben Chaudhary for the Banas Kantha seat.

Notably, in the upcoming elections, a Congresswoman candidate will be contesting against a BJP woman candidate for the Banaskantha seat in North Gujarat.

This marks the sole instance in Gujarat where both BJP and Congress have fielded female candidates against each other.

Among the four women candidates nominated by the Congress party, Geni Ben Thakor is contesting from the Banaskantha seat. Additionally, Congress has fielded Sonal Patel from the Gandhinagar seat, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah is contesting. Other notable nominations include Jeni Thummar in Amreli and Prabha Taviyad in Dahod.

Remarkably, there are nine constituencies in Gujarat where no woman candidate from any party has ever been elected, including Ahmedabad West, Gandhinagar, Porbandar, Patan, Panchmahal, Kheda, Bharuch, Valsad, and Navsari

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