The 17th Lok Sabha Elections scheduled from April 11- May 17 saw lofty manifestos, controversial speeches, slur campaigns and even many ‘firsts’ in the history of General Elections in India. From Smriti Irani defeating Indian National Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi to nearly equal representation of women at voting, the 2019 Indian General Elections also turned out to be empowering for women. Not only this but also the highest number of women have been elected as MPs in the election’s history. Read on to find more.
Record 78 women MPs in new Lok Sabha
This is for the first time in the history of general elections that out of 542 MPs who’ll take oath as Members of Lok Sabha in the next few days, 78 are women. The highest number of women candidates are from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal with 11 each. The highest numbers of women candidates were fielded by Congress a total of 47 which was closely followed by BJP with 45 women candidates. This Lok Sabha session will have 14.39 percent of women MPs which is the highest till date. A bill for 33 percent representation of women is pending in Parliament.
Remya Haridas the only Dalit woman MP in Kerala
Remya Haridas created history as she became the only woman candidate in Kerala to be elected as a MP. She is also the second ever Dalit woman to be elected to the parliament from Kerala. She is one of the toppers of ‘Talent Hunt’ which took place in 2010 to search for upcoming leaders by Congress. It’s been two decades that Haridas is associated with Congress. Despite its progressive track record, Kerala's has a low track record of sending women MPs to parliament. Haridas was one among the only two women contested from Congress in Kerala.
Smriti Irani becomes the first woman to trounce Gandhi family’s control over Amethi since the last 39 years
The most celebrated victory of a woman this general election was that of Smriti Irani in Amethi. After all, she emerged victorious in a constituency that has been the strong-hold of INC for the last 39 years. Irani continued to campaign in Amethi even after she lost her seat in 2014. She reached out to young people and helped them get jobs, scholarships, etc. Maybe that’s why they saw a sort of hope in her. Ameti was first won by Congress in 1980 and has remained with it since then.
S Jothimani Becomes First Woman MP from Karur
S Jothimani of Congress created history as she became the first woman candidate to be elected as the MP from Karur. Her victory becomes even more special because she defeated the AIADMK leader M Thambi Durai with a great margin. Many party leaders along with the president MK Stalin campaigned in Karur for her. Though she was handpicked by Rahul Gandhi, there was opposition from the people within the party itself. She then threatened to boycott the elections too.
Odisha becomes the first state to have the largest share of women candidates in Parliament
Of the 78 women MPs, seven belong to Odisha, making it the first state to have a 33% share in the total seats from the state. Odisha’s Chief Minister and president of Biju Janta Dal, Naveen Patnaik was the first minister ever to announce 33% reservation in tickets for women, to be given by his party for the Lok Sabha election in March.