Out of the 58 women who contested the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, only five emerged victorious. According to statistics of the Election Commission of India, the total 897 candidates who contested the Lok Sabha elections in the state included 58 women.
The five women who emerged victorious are – Poonam Mahajan (BJP) from Mumbai North Central constituency, NCP’s Supriya Sule from Baramati, BJP’s Heena Gavit from Nandurbar, Raksha Khadse (BJP) from Raver and Bhawana Gawli (Shiv Sena)
Notably, four among these winners belong to prominent political families. Poonam Mahajan is the daughter of former BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan, while Supriya Sule is the daughter of NCP chief and political stalwart Sharad Pawar. Heena Gavit (26), daughter of former Maharashtra minister Vijay Kumar Gavit, defeated Congressman Manikrao Gavit (80), who was seeking a record tenth term.
Raksha Khadse is the daughter-in-law of Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Eknath Khadse. Percentage wise, the women nominees in 2014 Maharashtra LS polls stood at 6.46 per cent, while the winners (women) constituted a mere 0.55 per cent. During the 2009 Maharashtra LS elections, 55 nominees of the fairer sex were in the fray among 819 candidates.
That time, only three women candidates had emerged victorious – Bhawana Gawli (Shiv Sena) from Yavatmal-Washim constituency, Priya Dutt (Congress) from Mumbai North Central, and Supriya Sule (NCP) from family pocket borough of Baramati.
The Women’s Reservation Bill pending in the Lok Sabha has proposed to amend the Constitution to reserve 33 per cent of all seats in the LS and in all state Legislative Assemblies for women. Rajya Sabha had passed the Women’s Reservation Bill on March 9, 2010.