Women voters not only figured high on the parties’ poll manifestos but also at polling booths on Saturday as they turned out in sizeable numbers in most of the constituencies to exercise their franchise.
From women in ghunghat (veils) to career women and from college-going girls to elderly women, all were enthusiastic about ‘voting for change’.
“All parties have been making various promises about women’s safety and other things. The kind of scenario we have in Delhi, nothing can change overnight, but a vote is where we all expect it to begin,” said Seema, a Delhi University student who cast her vote at a polling booth in Uttam Nagar constituency.
Ambreen, who came with her mother-in-law to cast her vote, said she did not have much of an idea about what party had made what promises but had come to vote with all the members of her family.
An IT-engineer by profession, Heena Khandoori, said, “Women need to make wise choices when it comes to electing our representatives. We can’t be swayed by mere promises; but definitely these elections are not a choice between better and best but between good and better.”
As per the electoral rolls, a total of 1.33 crore people are eligible to vote in Delhi of which over 72 lakh are men and around 59 lakh are women. Out of the 673 candidates in the fray for the Delhi Assembly elections, only 66 are women.
While there were assurances galore on women’s safety in the national capital ahead of the polls, the number of tickets given to women candidates by the three leading parties was in sharp contrast to the population of women voters in Delhi.
A total of 19 women candidates have been fielded by the three major political parties in the contest — BJP, Congress and AAP — in the election to the 70-member House.
While BJP has given tickets to the maximum number of women candidates, including its chief ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi, AAP and Congress have fielded six and five women contestants, respectively.
In the 2013 Assembly polls, Congress and AAP had each fielded six women candidates while the BJP had five women nominees contesting the polls.
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