Madhuri Misal becomes the fourth woman from Pune to be elected MLA after Leela Merchant in 1972,Shanti Naik in 1978 and Kamal Dhole-Patil in 2004
Madhuri Misal of the BJP is the sole woman candidate to have won the polls in Pune. With this,she became the fourth woman from the city to be elected MLA since 1967.
The first woman legislator from the city was Leelatai Merchant of the Congress who won the Assembly election from Kasba Peth in 1972 against Rambhau Wadke of the SSP. Shanti Narayan Naik from Janata Dal had won against Suresh Kalmadi in 1978 he was the sitting MP then too while the third woman to have bagged the seat was Kamal Dhole-Patil from NCP who won the Bhavani Peth seat in 2004 against Deepak Paigude who was then a Sena man.
In the district,Daund Assembly constituency saw Usha Jagdale of the Congress winning in 1972 and 1985. Ranjana Kul won the seat in 2004 from the same constituency.
Misal polled 64,959 votes and won with a lead of 18,000 votes against NCP candidate Sachin Tawre.
And though they didnt win,there were other women who did put up a tough fight,such as Sena candidates Asha Buchke from Junnar and Kalpana Adhalrao who contested against sitting MLAs,as well as Sulabha Ubale from Sena who took on the might of independent candidate Vilas Lande and NCP candidate and former PCMC mayor Mangala Kadam. Parvati also saw the Third Front putting up women activist Kiran Moghe for the polls but she scored only about 3,000 votes.
Political observers maintain that it is not easy for women candidates to dent the male bastion both in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. That is why there are few women candidates, said a senior Congress leader. Kamal Vyavahare,general secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC),said it was sad that the party did not field any women Congress candidate. In entire western Maharashtra with 71 candidates,there was just one woman candidate of the Congress who happened to be Union Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shindes daughter Praniti Shinde. The party should have fielded more women, she said. Vyavahare was herself aspiring to contest from Parvati,but the seat went in the NCP share.
She is not the only one. Kamal Dhole Patil of the NCP too was seeking a candidature but after delimitation,her Bopodi constituency was merged with Pune Cantonment which went to Congress.
Former mayor Vandana Chavans name had also did the rounds for Parvati constituency.
But the city is known for its women mayors. Except for Mangala Kadam who contested on an NCP ticket,all other former mayors Kamal Vyavhare,Rajlaxmi Bhosale,Vandana Chavan,Vatsala Andekar,Dipti Chowdhary and Rajani Tribhuvan have yet to try their luck in Assembly polls.