Dehradun: Despite constituiting half of the vote bank, fairer sex finds a scant representation as a candidate in the list of political parties. While only eight percent of women have been provided the opportunity to fight elections in the state, only five percent of them were able to make an entry into Uttarakhand Assembly.

Neither of the two major political players including the BJP and the Congress have taken any initiative to boost their participation in politics. Though they have extended unforgettable contribution to the formation of Uttarakhand, they have not been inculcated in the political mainstream.

Surprisingly, both the parties boast of women’s participation as their top political agenda but they deny their representation in the government in the name of the ‘winning’ candidate which has to be given priority for victory in the elections.

Uttarakhand is among the first states which implemented 50 percent reservation in the panchayats for women.

According to the records, 927 candidates were given tickets to contest elections in 2002 of which only 72 were women. Out of these, only 13 women were given tickets by the BJP and Congress, of which only two women from each of the parties managed to win in the assembly polls.

However, the numbers fell drastically in the elections held in 2007. Only 56 women were amongst 806 candidates who contested polls. Of these, only seven women were given a chance to contest by the BJP and the Congress. As a result, only four women were able to emerge victorious.

The records prove that while major political parties take a backseat in allowing women’s representation in their party, they are hardly visible in other parties or as independent candidates, leading to their lesser nomination in the elections.

JPN/Bureau