As we are almost nearing the end of Lok Sabha Election 2019, polling for final phase seven is due on May 19. A total of seven states including all 13 constituencies of Punjab and Union Territory Chandigarh are going to poll in the last phase. Fascinatingly, Chandigarh is the only constituency among 543 others that may have the highest number of women candidates at nine, as per the Election Commission of India.

In all 36 candidates are in the fray to win the seat of which nine are women making it to 25% of the overall candidacy. The close second after Chandigarh is Mumbai North East constituency which had seven female candidates out of 27 total candidates. It went to poll in phase four which was conducted on April 29. Next on the list is Tamil Nadu’s Chennai South with six female candidates out of a total of 40 candidates as the state went to poll in the second phase which happened on April 18.

About the candidates

Among the nine candidates contesting for Chandigarh is the sitting MP Kirron Kher who is a BJP leader. The remaining eight consists of four candidates from regional parties and four are contesting independently.

While Kher is depending on the Modi wave and the development work she claims to have done, the 48-year-old candidate Jyoti Singh of Akhil Bhartiya Apna Dal is a political greenhorn who has listed her profession as a social worker. Bhoopinder Kaur is another candidate and a first-timer, who is a member of Sarvjan Sewa Party. While she is a resident of Mohali, she is also a social worker as per her affidavit uploaded in the ECI website.

A regional party like Bhartiya Kisan Party’s candidate Ramneet is a motivational speaker and Bharat Prabhat Party’s candidate from the constituency, Sharmila Johari has been a tuition teacher as they now venture into a political career. Independent candidate Devi Sirohi is a retired professor and used to teach at Punjab University while Nidhi Kansal, who is a resident of Ambala in Haryana, is currently studying Naturopathy and is in her final year. Kansal is also a post graduate in engineering from Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan.

ALSO READ: Only 11 Women Candidates Among 223 To Contest Elections In Haryana

In all 36 candidates are in the fray to win the seat of which nine are women making it to 25% of the overall candidacy. The close second after Chandigarh is Mumbai North East constituency which had seven female candidates out of 27 total candidates.

The 75 years old Prem Lata is also an independent candidate, who is a resident of Panchkula in Haryana. The youngest candidate among all the women candidates contesting from Chandigarh is Sunita who is 25 years old. She is a housewife while her husband is a service provider and a mechanic.

While Chandigarh may have the highest number of women, it still is not anywhere close to having an equal number of men and women candidates. We are going to see the 17th Lok Sabha on the floor of the Parliament in a matter of few days and the less number of women candidates particularly supported by national parties will show.

However, it is a positive change to see an increasing number of women contesting independently which is evident of the fact that they are becoming socially and politically more aware.

More Stories by Poorvi Gupta

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.