Tribune News Service
Srinagar, December 24
Out of 30 women contestants, who fought the 2014 Assembly elections, only two have made it to the state Legislative Assembly.
Among those who lost the elections this time around include National Conference nominee from Noorabad and Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo and former Health Minister and Congress representative Suman Lata Bhagat.
The women representation in the J&K Assembly has thus gone down from three in 2008 to two in this election.
In the wake of inadequate representation, the Governor had nominated two women legislators after the 2008 elections thus taking the number of women MLAs in the previous Assembly to five.
The women representation in the state Assembly is witnessing a decline at a time when all major contesting parties, including the NC, the Congress and the PDP, had included 33 per cent women reservation in their manifestos.
Combined together, the National Conference, the BJP, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress had fielded a total of 14 women candidates this time around, while the rest of the women nominees contested from other regional groups and as Independents.
The BJP had fielded a maximum of five women candidates, including its Kashmir face Hina Bhat, in the state Assembly elections.
However, none of them could make it to the Legislative Assembly.
BJP’s Darakshan Andrabi, Hina Bhat and Neelam Ghash were way behind their male rivals.
Andrabi, a doctor by profession, lost the Sonawar seat by a margin of 13,183. Hina lost from the Amira Kadal constituency of Srinagar by a margin of 10,367 votes, while Neelam lost from Zadibal by a margin of 7,496 votes.
Sakina Itoo lost to Peoples Democratic Party’s Abdul Majeed Paddar by a margin of 3,218 votes.
The Congress had fielded four female candidates. While Bhagat lost the RS Pura by a margin of 22,031 votes, Khemalata Wakhlu (74), who was the oldest woman contestant in the fray, lost the Sonawar seat by 13,475 votes.
Peoples Democratic Party’s Aseia Naqash and National Conference representative Shameema Firdous were the only two to make it to the Assembly this time around.
Aseia, the sister in law of Peoples Democratic Party MP Tariq Karra, defeated National Conference’s Mohammad Syed Akhoon from the Hazratbal constituency by a margin of 3,400 votes.
Shameema Firdous, who is also the chairperson of the State Women Commission, was re-elected from Habba Kadal. She beat BJP’s Moti Kaul by a margin of 2,359 votes.
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