Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur parliamentary seat has been primarily dominated by male politicians as of yet. One understands the condition better when one gets to know that till date only two women candidates have won from the constituency that currently has more eligible women voters than men voters. Out of the total of 16 lakh voters in Jamshedpur, 8.14 lakh are women and the fact that the margin isn’t much, hasn’t helped women’s cause in the Lok Sabha constituency.

The Jamshedpur constituency holds two urban (Jamshedpur west and east), two semi-urban (Jugsalai and Ghatshila) and two rural (Bahragora and Potka) assembly segments. Its first elected woman MP was Abha Mahato in 1998 who was a candidate of BJP. Although the BJP government was voted out of power in 1999, she still won the seat again by a matter of one vote during the very famous no-confidence motion in Parliament, when fresh mandate was sought.

This year, four women candidates are competing in Jamshedpur, out of 23 candidates, including seven independent candidates.

However, she lost to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Sunil Mahto in 2004. However in 2007, Maoists allegedly  killed MP Sunil Mahato near Ghatshila during an on-going football match, after which by-polls were conducted from the seat that fell vacant after his death. And his wife, Suman Mahato from JMM then came to power by winning the by-election in 2007. She won against BJP’s Dinesh Sarangi by 58,814 votes. Suman polled in 2,93,003 votes and BJP’s Dinesh Sarangi got 2,34,189 votes.

Then in 2009, JMM again fielded Suman but she lost to BJP’s Arjun Munda by 1,19,73 votes.

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This year, four women candidates are competing in Jamshedpur, out of 23 candidates, including seven independent candidates. All India Trinamool Congress has fielded 38-year-old Anjana Mahata who is an assistant professor by profession. She has studied LLM from North Orissa University. Then Panmani Singh is contesting on the ticket of Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist). The 62-year-old is also a professor and has studied History in her graduation.

One must note here that for the first time, four women candidates are competing simultaneously, as between 1957 to 2014 only four women have contested from the seat in total. Never has it happened before that two women have contested in the election from this constituency at the same time.

A regional party by the name of Aihra National Party has fielded Sabita Kaibarto, while Sarita Anand is contesting independently. Anand is the only woman contesting independently out of seven independent candidates. She studied business development from Delhi University and works in a salaried service at a vehicle rental firm.

One must note here that for the first time, four women candidates are competing simultaneously, as between 1957 to 2014 only four women have contested from the seat as a whole. Never has it happened before that two women contested in the election at the same time from this constituency. Meera Kumari was the first woman to file nomination to contest in the Lok Sabha election from this seat in 1991, that too independently. Then in 1996 Gulabi Devi contested from Jamshedpur but only garnered around 200 votes. Between 1957 and 1989 no woman contested from this seat.

Picture Credit- The Avenue Mail

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