Leading among the states with the worst sex ratio, Haryana, again displays its patriarchal mind-set in the number of women candidates competing in the parliamentary elections. Of the 223 candidates competing for 10 seats, only 11 are women candidates.

Of the 1.80 crore registered electors, 83, 40,173 are women. Despite this huge representation of women as electors, the region’s oldest political party The Indian National Lok Dal has no women candidate. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is contesting in alliance with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) too join the group with no women candidate.

In the sixth phase, poling will be held in 10 seats of Haryana on May 12. The only woman candidate that BJP has fielded is Sunita Duggal, former Indian Revenue Officer (IRS) from Sirsa.

In the sixth phase, poling will be held in 10 seats of Haryana on May 12. The only woman candidate that BJP has fielded is Sunita Duggal, former Indian Revenue Officer (IRS) from Sirsa. Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) too has a lone woman candidate on one of the seven seats it is contesting in Haryana. The rest of the remaining three seats are being contested by Aam Aadmi Party.

Dushyanta Chauhan led JJP has a lone woman candidate Swati Yadav from Bhiwani- Mahendragarh. Among the women contesting from the major parties, she is the youngest of all. The 30 year-old Yadav is an electrical engineer who passed out from Clemson University and has also secured an MBA from Georgia Tech University, both in the US. When it comes to joining politics, she told IANS, “I want to see India providing equal opportunities to both the men and the women”.

The Congress has fielded two women candidates namely Kumari Selja from Ambala and Shruti Chowdhary from Bhwani-Mahendragarh. Interestingly, both the women candidates are from political dynasties.

The Congress has fielded two women candidates namely Kumari Selja from Ambala and Shruti Chowdhary from Bhwani-Mahendragarh. Interestingly, both the women candidates are from political dynasties. BSP- Loktantra Suraksha Party alliance, in line with the Congress, has fielded Raj Bala Saini from Sonepat and Shashi Saini from Kurukshetra, when it came to women candidates.

A Fellow with the Department-cum-Centre for Women’s Studies and Development of Panjab University in Chandigarh says that though both BJP and Congress have supported 33 percent reservation for women in the Parliament, the scenario as to how they have dealt with women’s representation is not at all in line with their statements.

However, the State Congress President Ashok Tanwar believes that their party has given proper representation to women in the parliamentary polls as compared to other political parties. “As compared to other parties, we allotted tickets to two women candidates. Our party President Rahul Gandhi has interacted with women groups and their issues adequately found space in the Congress national manifesto,” he said.

Overall, Kumari Selja, Shruti Chowdhary and Sunita Duggal are the only three candidates nominated by the national political parties. A maximum of 14 women had contested in 2009, whereas a minimum of three had contested in 1989. Moreover, till date, only five women have been elected to the Lok Sabha from Haryana. Interestingly, this time, six of the women have joined political parties for the cause of their kin. Shruti Chowdhary, who is Haryana’s former Chief Minister Bansi Lal’s granddaughter, is one of them. Others being Asha Hooda and Kanta Chautala – they come from the well-established political dynasties of Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Om Prakash Chautala, respectively.

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Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv.

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