Lok Sabha polls: Fate of 724 women candidates to be decided tomorrow

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NEW DELHI: The fate of 724 women candidates in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls will be decided on Thursday when the results are announced. A total of 7,928 candidates were in the fray in the parliamentary polls.

The Congress had fielded the maximum of 54 women candidates. The opposition party was closely followed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had fielded 53 women candidates.

Among the other national parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fielded 24 women candidates, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) 23, the CPI(M) 10, the CPI four, while one woman candidate was fielded by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

As many as 222 women contested the polls independently.

Four transgender candidates also contested the polls independently, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the only party to field a transgender nominee.

According to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch, 100 (15 per cent) women candidates declared criminal cases against themselves, while 78 (11 per cent) declared serious criminal cases against their names.

Two women candidates declared cases in which they were convicted, four declared cases related to murder, 16 had attempt to murder cases against them, 14 were accused of crimes against women such as causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent while seven had cases related to hate speech registered against them, the report said.

Of the 100 women candidates with criminal cases against them, 13 are from the BJP, while 10 from the Congress.

The ADR report said of the 716 women candidates analysed, 255 (36 per cent) were crorepatis. Of the 665 women candidates analysed during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, 219 (33 per cent) were crorepatis.

Among the major parties, the average worth of assets per candidate for the Congress’s women nominees is Rs 18.84 crore, while for the BJP candidates, it is Rs 22.09 crore. The average worth of assets of the BSP’s women candidates is Rs 3.03 crore, while for the TMC nominees, it is Rs 2.67 crore.

The average worth of assets of the CPI-M’s women candidates is Rs 1.33 crore, while for the Samajwadi Party (SP) it is Rs 39.85 crore and for the AAP, Rs 2.92 crore.

The average worth of assets of the 222 Independent women candidates is Rs 1.63 crore.

Hema Malini, the BJP candidate from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, is the richest woman nominee in this election with assets worth Rs 250 crore, followed by Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) DA Sathya Prabha (Rs 220 crore) from Andhra Pradesh’s Rajampet constituency and the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Rs 217 crore) from Punjab’s Bathinda, the affidavits showed.

Six women candidates — all of whom contested the polls independently — have declared zero assets in their self-sworn affidavits.

The ADR said 232 (32 per cent) women candidates declared their educational qualification to be between Class 5 and Class 12 pass, while 396 (55 per cent) declared having an educational qualification of graduate and above.

Thirty-seven women candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 26 are illiterates. Two candidates did not give their educational qualification details.

The report further said 531 (74 per cent) women candidates declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 180 (25 per cent) declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years.

While one woman candidate declared she was over 80 years of age, three did not disclose their age and one said her age was below 25 years, the report said.

Source: Press Trust of India