After the Election Commission announced that Haryana assembly elections are slated to be held on October 21, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) released the first list of candidates consisting of 22 candidates from the total 90 assembly constituencies in the state. It is worth taking note of that only two women figure in the list of candidates which comes out to be 9.09 per cent of the total names released by AAP as yet.

These two women candidates of AAP are Anita Chhikara from Bahadurgarh and Kumari Sumanlata Vashisth from Faridabad. Speaking to SheThePeople.TV, the two candidates revealed their brand of politics and why is it that they entered it.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The two women candidates of AAP are Anita Chhikara from Bahadurgarh and Kumari Sumanlata Vashisth from Faridabad.
  2. Sumanlata Vashisth has been a resident of Faridabad since she was born in Sihi village that falls in Sector-8. She is a former cricketer.
  3. Anita Chhikara has only spent a year being a member of AAP but she is an elected Municipal Councillor since 2016.
  4. Chhikara’s husband, Parveen Pradhan has been a sarpanch of Kablana village near Jhajjar in Haryana. 

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Sumanlata Vashisth has been a resident of Faridabad since she was born in Sihi village that falls in Sector-8. She is a former cricketer, who represented Haryana in National tournaments for a decade from the age of 20. After this, she moved on to become a sports coach training young girls in cricket and softball. Seven years ago, in 2012, when the Anna Hazare movement started, she joined politics and has been a part of AAP since then. This is the first time contesting an election for Vashisth as she has been a party worker mobilizing people all along.

Talking about her candidacy, she says, “My party gives the opportunity to party workers who work at the grassroots level and that’s why they have made me a candidate. This reason makes me feel extremely happy about my participation.”

For Vashisth’s prime issues to tackle are increasing women’s representation in politics and to give women sportsperson in her constituency better facilities as she has been closely working in that direction. In fact, under her training, two young girls went to participate in international tournaments, she claims.

“Since I am a coach, my aim has always been to nurture young girls’ talents as it’s difficult for girls to achieve excellence in sports. There are many reasons why young girls still lack the confidence to make a career in sports as they don’t have financial support and family’s support. So, I have been giving free of cost training for girls. I want more and more women to participate in sports,” says the 39-year-old candidate.

“There is a lot of talent in girls today and I don’t want the girls of this day and age to face the same challenges that we did growing up,” she adds.

On why she entered politics, Vashisth reasons that women’s participation in politics is very low. “Secondly, there is no one seriously listening to women’s voices especially in terms of the crimes that happen. So my main motive to enter politics is to grow the number of women in it so we can also bring some change in it,” she says, adding that health and education are other two areas she would like to improve in her constituency as the party has been successful in turning these issues around in the capital city where it is in power currently.

On the other hand, Anita Chhikara has only spent a year being a member of AAP but she is an elected Municipal Councillor since 2016. “I saw that this party works with honesty and so I got inclined towards joining it and becoming its member. I got fascinated by how this party has improved education and health in Delhi. While I may have been a homemaker but I have had an avid interest in politics all along,” says Chhikara whose husband, Parveen Pradhan has been a sarpanch of Kablana village near Jhajjar in Haryana.

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“There is no one seriously listening to women’s voices especially in terms of the crimes that happen. So my main motive to enter politics is to grow the number of women in it so we can also bring some change in it”

The 40-year-old candidate talks about being a woman in politics as she claims that it is the first time a woman from Bahadurgarh has got an MLA ticket. “Only women can understand the issues of women and since we voiced their concern and that’s why the party recognized us by giving this ticket to me.” Her main objective to contest in this election is to do away with bureaucratic corruption from Bahadurgarh where she has been living for over 15 years now.

Other than Chhikara and Vashisth, the other 20 candidates of AAP are Yogeshwar Sharma (Panchkula), Anshul Aggarwal (Ambala City), Gurdev Singh Sura (Ladwa), Anup Sandhu (Assandh), Raj Kumar Pehal (Julana) and Lakshya Garg (Fatehabad). The other candidates are Manjit Ranga (Uklana), Sandeep Laura (Narnaud), Manoj Rathi (Hansi), Anup Singh Chanaut (Barwala), Pawan Hindustani (Tosham), Muni Pal Atri (Garhi-Sampa Kiloi), Ashwani Dulera (Beri), Ajay Sharma (Mahendragarh), Ranbir Rathi (Gurugram), Karan Singh Dagar (Hodal), Kuldip Kaushik (Palwal), Santosh Yadav (Faridabad-NIT), Dharambir Bhadana (Badkhal) and Harender Bhati (Ballabgarh).

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