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BJP spokesperson from Maharashtra Shaina NC has been quoted saying that she is “upset and appalled” as most parties including national parties like Congress and her own party BJP failed to give enough tickets to women candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. On top of that, she also praised state parties like West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress and Odisha’s Biju Janta Dal led by Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik respectively for increasing the size of women’s representation in their candidate lists.

While TMC fielded 40% women candidates, BJD has given tickets to 33% women as promised by Patnaik in February. She said that all parties need to “wake up” as they only offer “lip-service” for women’s representation, according to HT.

In Maharashtra, there are 48 parliamentary seats for which only 13 women have been fielded by prominent parties. Of these BJP has fielded seven, Congress three and NCP and Shiv Sena a grand total of one each.

Shaina noted, “Ability requires opportunity. Talent needs to be showcased.” “Leadership across the board need to give more women politicians a chance for us to prove our electoral competence. All parties need to wake up,” she said.

A large number of these women candidates fielded by various parties represent dynasty politics as BJP’s Heena Gavit contesting from Nandurbar seat, is the daughter of former NCP minister Vijaykumar Gavit, Raver nominee Raksha Khadse is the daughter-in-law of BJP leader Eknath Khadse. Poonam Mahajan (Mumbai North Central) is the daughter of BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan and Pritam Munde (Beed) is the daughter of Late BJP leader Gopinath Munde. Bharati Pawar (Dindori) is the daughter-in-law of NCP leader Late A T Pawar and Kanchan Kul (Baramati) is the wife of RSP MLA Rahul Kul. MLC Smita Wagh is BJP’s candidate from Jalgaon.

NCP candidate Navneet, who is contesting from Amravati, is the wife of Independent MLA Ravi Rana. Another candidate of NCP, Supriya Sule is contesting a re-election for the third time in a row from Baramati and she is the daughter of Sharad Pawar. Congress’ Charulata Tokas (Wardha) is the daughter of party leader late Prabha Rau and Priya Dutt, fielded from Mumbai North Central, is the daughter of late actor and politician Sunil Dutt.

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“Women are 50 per cent of the electorate. Upset and appalled to know that other than Mamata Banerjee, who has given 41 per cent and Navin Patnaik, who has given 33 per cent to women candidates, all other parties only pay lip service to our cause.

Requesting all women to speak up and demand all parties to give 33 per cent tickets to women as part of their manifesto of their individual party irrespective of legislation in Parliament for reservation

What is worrisome is that we are still having dialogues and discussions on the most basic rights that any human being should be entitled to. That’s why a 33 per cent reservation must be a collective, concerted, conscious effort of all women in public life,” said NC. She has sworn to undertake the cause of women’s representation in parliament even is she even has “to fight the male chauvinistic mindset in my party and in all other parties too.”

“Requesting all women to speak up and demand all parties to give 33 per cent tickets to women as part of their manifesto of their individual party irrespective of legislation in Parliament for reservation,” said added.

Apart from her, party leader Sumitra Mahajan also showed her resentment around waiting for a ticket. The senior parliamentarian has spoken up publicly about her decision of not contesting in the election as she said that she has “freed the party” from taking the tough decision.

“BJP has not declared its candidate from Indore. Why this state of indecision? Maybe the party is hesitating. Even though I had a discussion with the leadership and left the decision to them. It seems they still have reservations, so I declare that I will not contest Lok Sabha elections, so party is free to decide, without any hesitation,” Sumitra Mahajan wrote in her letter, quoted NDTV.

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