Jalandhar: In what could be termed as sheer lip service, Congress failed to field even a single woman candidate in 2017 Assembly Elections, while SAD-BJP jointly fielded three women out of the total 23 assembly seats in Doaba belt of Punjab.
SAD-BJP fielded three and AAP relied on just one woman in Doaba region
Aam Admi Party (AAP) also relied on the lone woman candidate Harjot Kaur from Banga (reserve) seat in Doaba. The state went to polls on February 4 while the results will be declared on March 11.
Total four women candidates were in fray from doaba in these elections. Doaba comprises of four districts Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala.
Ironically all parties had been talking of 33 percent reservation to women but none relied on the fairer sex in the assembly elections. Among the women candidates two contested from SAD while BJP relied on their trusted lieutenant in Dasuya constituency.
From SAD, two women candidates namely Upinderjit Kaur and Bibi Mohinder Kaur Josh contested and BJP fielded Sukhjit Kaur Sahi from Dasuya.
Meanwhile, the lone woman candidate congress could have fielded in doaba was Nimisha Mehta from Garhshankar constituency. Though Nimisha Mehta was the main contender but Congress high command relied on Lov Kumar Goldy from this seat. Later, Nimisha filed her nomination as an independent candidate but finally relented.
Among the total four women candidates, Upinderjit Kaur (76) from SAD was the party’s face in Kapurthala district. She remained the first woman Finance Minister of the state in SAD-BJP’s 2007 term.
In Hoshiarpur, SAD relied on its sitting Sham Chaurasi MLA Mohinder Kaur Josh. She won this seat in the 2007 and 2012 assembly elections.
Similarly, BJP fielded Sukhjit Kaur Sahi in Dasuya constituency from Hoshiarpur district, who joined the political turf after the death of her husband and the then sitting MLA Amarjit Singh Sahi in the year 2012. She won the by-election from this seat with a huge margin.
On the other hand, AAP also relied on its lone woman candidate Harjot Kaur from Banga. Not only Harjot was a green horn candidate, she was also the youngest woman candidate at the age of 26. A student of MA (English), she joined the party six months ago.
It is pertinent to mention here that across the state politics, women leaders were not given their due in these assembly elections. “Until women would not come forward, fight for their right and due, nobody will consider them as equals in a male dominated society.
Especially, politics is one field, where women should come up, as a strong woman leader would further motivate women at grass roots level to stand up for justice in the society”, said Dr Namrata Joshi, Head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of GNDU Regional Campus Jalandhar.
Dr Joshi emphasized that somehow women leaders were also responsible for not presenting themselves as strong leaders. “They prefer to remain as dummy leaders while their husbands, fathers and brothers work at the grass roots level”, she added.
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