After Congress released its first list of 51 candidates for the Maharashtra Polls on Sunday, it is the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) which released its first list on Tuesday (October 1) of 125 candidates. A day after BJP and the state’s ruling party Shiv Sena finalised the renewal of their grand alliance for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly election, the list comprises of a paltry 12 women candidates announced by BJP making it be only 9.6 percent of the complete list.

ALSO READ: Congress Fields Under 10% Women In Maharashtra Polls In First List

Like Congress, which fielded only four candidates, BJP has also mostly given tickets to women who are either sitting MLAs or come from a dynastic political background leaving barely any space for new names to feature in the list. The list comprises of Shweta Mahale contesting from Chikhali. Mahale is the State Executive Member of the party and she won the Maharashtra Zila Parishad Election in 2017. She joined the party for the first time almost a decade ago in 2009. Devayani Farande, who is a candidate from Nashik Central, is also a sitting MLA from the same constituency since 2014. Similarly, MLA Seema Hire is contesting from Nashik West. She was earlier the general secretary of the BJP state unit. Manda Mhatre, Vidya Thakur, Manisha Chaudhari, Madhuri Misal, Snehalata Kolhe, Monika Rajale and Pankaja Gopinathrao Munde – Palwe are all sitting MLAs from Belapur, Goregaon, Dahisar, Parvati, Kopargaon, Shevgaon, and Parli – Beed respectively.

The only two female candidates who have been given tickets for the first time are Dnyanjyoti Manohar Badane Patil from Dhule Rural and Mukta Tilak who has been fielded from Kasba Peth.

Thakur is a veteran politician who is currently the Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Food and Drugs Administration in the Devendra Fadnavis Ministry. She won for the first time in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 1992. Another influential name in the list is that of Munde who has served in various roles in the Maharashtra politics and in the BJP state unit right from their youth wing. She is a two-time MLA now as she won from Parli for the first time in 2009. She is the daughter of senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde who died in 2014. She currently serves as the minister of rural development, women & child welfare and the Guardian Minister for Beed District in Maharashtra government.

The only two female candidates who have been given tickets for the first time are Dnyanjyoti Manohar Badane Patil from Dhule Rural and Mukta Tilak who has been fielded from Kasba Peth.

ALSO READ: Babita Phogat Amongst BJP’s Nine Women Candidates For Haryana

This may be the first assembly election for Tilak as a candidate, but she broke barriers when she got elected as the Mayor of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) making her the first leader from the party to be elected in the position in 2017. She is a descendant of the Bal Gangadhar ‘Lokmanya’ Tilak’s family and hence no newcomer to the politics of the state. Tilak may have set the precedent for the party but for her, she was winning her fourth civic election on a from old Pune’s Narayan Peth-Sadashiv Peth area.

Despite tall promises during the Lok Sabha election campaign on the reservation of women in politics, BJP hasn’t done too well in resonating with it in the first elections happening after their landslide victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

Maharashtra will go to polls on October 21 and the counting of votes will be held on October 24. The main parties contesting for the 288 Maharashtra Assembly seats elections are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, and the Indian National Congress (INC).

Picture credit: The Hans India

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