OUT OF the 12 women fielded by all parties, Maharashtra has elected eight women parliamentarians to the 17th Lok Sabha.
Five of the six women fielded by BJP won — Heena Gavit (Nandurbar), Raksha Khadse (Raver), Poonam Majahan (Mumbai North Central), Bharati Pawar (Dindori) and Pritam Munde (Beed). Kanchan Kool, who was fielded against Supriya Sule of the NCP in Baramati, was the only BJP woman candidate to lose.
“In 2014, party gave me an opportunity. It was a challenge. But after winning the 2014 polls, which was driven by the Modi wave, it ushered greater responsibilities and also inculcated confidence in me. The hard work and communication with people helped to win the seat again in 2019 polls,” Khadse.
Sule, who won with a margin of more than 1.5 lakh in Baramati, was NCP’s only woman candidate. Senior party leader Nawab Malik said, “Don’t judge us by the number of candidates fielded and who won. NCP president Sharad Pawar has always supported the 33 per cent quota for women.”
Navneet Rana (Yuva Swabhimani Party), backed by the NCP, won from Amravati.
Shiv Sena fielded one woman candidate, sitting (MP) Bhawana Gawli from Yavatmal-Washim constituency in Vidarbha region. She won.
Congress’ all three women candidates — Charulata Tokas (Wardha), Priya Dutt (Mumbai North Central) and Urmila Matondkar (Mumbai North) — lost. A Congress general secretary said, “The trend across country was pro-Modi. Therefore, its impact was bound to have adverse impact on all candidates, including women.”
BJP leader Vijaya Rahatkar urged the state leadership to consider greater women representation in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra.
“Women have been very crucial in electoral outcome of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Their contribution is almost 50 per cent,” she said.