‘Nari shakti’ mere lip service, only two women in Delhi Lok Sabha poll fray : The Tribune India

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‘Nari shakti’ mere lip service, only two women in Delhi Lok Sabha poll fray

‘Nari shakti’ mere lip service, only two women in Delhi Lok Sabha poll fray

BJP Lok Sabha candidate for West Delhi Kamaljeet Sehrawat (L) and New Delhi candidate Bansuri Swaraj. file Photo



Tribune News Service

Anshita Mehra

New Delhi, May 22

Despite their vocal promotion of ‘nari shakti’, major political parties have largely failed to field women candidates in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP has nominated only two female candidates in Delhi, while the AAP and Congress have not fielded any. This failure is striking in a city with a nuanced history of female representation in the Lok Sabha elections, spanning over 68 years.

Only nine women have been elected to the Lok Sabha from Delhi since 1951, with notable names including Sucheta Kripalani, Sushma Swaraj, Meira Kumar, Krishna Tirath and Meenakshi Lekhi. While all three parties promise women’s development and target women voters, they have fallen short in actually representing women in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress and AAP have not fielded a single woman among the seven seats in Delhi. Notably, the AAP has not nominated any woman in Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Assam.

Adding to the criticism, the BJP has accused the INDIA bloc partners of being anti-women. Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva has alleged that by not allocating even a single seat to women, the Congress and AAP have shown their “anti-women” mindset. “While the Modi government increased women representation in sports, military, administrative services and ensured increased political representation for women by introducing the Women Empowerment Act 2023, the INDIA bloc has denied women representation in Delhi for the Lok Sabha,” Sachdeva said.

“Our party has given tickets to two women, whereas the INDIA bloc has disregarded the sentiments of the city’s 6.7 million female voters by not giving tickets to even a single woman,” he added.

The recent Swati Maliwal controversy has further intensified the debate, with Delhiites questioning Kejriwal’s commitment to women’s safety, arguing that he cannot protect women when a woman in his own house faces assault.

Pooja, a resident of East Delhi, criticised Kejriwal, saying, “Kejriwal is not a man of his words. I have studied his journey, and since day one, he has been going back on his words, from saying he won’t enter politics, won’t become the CM, and most importantly, will not join hands with the Congress.”

She continued, “It is quite evident with the Maliwal case that he does not care about anyone, not even his own party leaders. If he reacts nonchalantly about his own party leader who has been with him since the start, how can we trust him to protect the women in the Capital?”

Omisha, a law student, shared similar sentiments: “Sure, Kejriwal has done things for the poor, and the crime against women isn’t as horrendous anymore, but that does not mean he has done enough. Cases against women are still there.

Maliwal’s assault happened in his own house. How can anyone move on from that and trust that he will protect and guide the women in Delhi if a woman is not even safe in his own home?”

BJP leaders also criticised AAP and Congress for their silence on cases against women. Bansuri Swaraj, BJP candidate for New Delhi, said, “The AAP and Congress were silent when the Sandeshkhali incident happened. They were silent when a minister of AAP allegedly molested the daughter of a worker of his own party, and a POCSO case was also issued against the minister.”

Swaraj condemned the AAP government’s handling of the Maliwal case, saying, “Raising a hand on a woman and misbehaving with her is quite embarrassing, and it is extremely sad that such an incident happened at an official residence.” She also criticised Kejriwal for his silence on the issue, despite his previous strong statements about women’s safety.

Swaraj is one of the two female candidates fielded by the BJP in Delhi. Kamaljeet Sehrawat, the other BJP female candidate, highlighted the recurring nature of such incidents under the AAP government.

The lack of female candidates and the recent controversies underscore a significant gap between the political rhetoric on women’s empowerment and the reality of their representation in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

AAP, Cong didn’t field any

  • The BJP has nominated only two female candidates in Delhi, while the AAP and Congress have not fielded any
  • Only nine women have been elected to the Lok Sabha from Delhi since 1951
  • The AAP has not nominated any woman in Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Assam

‘Kejriwal not a man of his words’

Kejriwal is not a man of his words. I have studied his journey, and since day one, he has been going back on his words, from saying he won’t enter politics, won’t become the CM, and most importantly, will not join hands with the Congress. — Pooja, a resident of East Delhi

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