Women hope for better representation
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The stress seems to be on women this Assembly elections. Both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress are going all out to woo women voters with each promising a record share of tickets for female candidates for the December polls.
While the BJP is likely to give 33 per cent of the total 182 tickets to women candidates, the Congress is planning to have at least one woman fight the election from each district (26). If implemented, both these figures will be historic highs for women representation in Gujarat elections.
"BJP is the only party which has given utmost importance to women. At present, we have 15 elected MLAs and three Lok Sabha members from Gujarat, which is the highest ever. Of the 22 (women) candidates who fought the (2007 Assembly) elections under the party's banner, 15 won. Our government has already presented the 50 per cent women reservation bill in local bodies (pending with the Governor) and we support 33 per cent reservation for women in state (Assembly) and at the national level (Parliament)," said BJP Mahila Morcha president and Lok Sabha member Jayshriben Patel. "In 2007, we fielded the highest number of women. And this time, we will give tickets to even more women candidates. We expect the party would give tickets to women for 33 per cent (around 60 seats) of the total seats," she added.
On the other hand, state president of Congress Mahila Morcha Sonal Patel said they "expect at least one woman candidate" in each district. "Last time (2007), the party gave tickets to around seven women, of which one tribal candidate (Chandrika Bariya) won. We expect highest representation this time," she said. Sonal said she had received more than 160 applications from women seeking election tickets this time.
BJP manifesto likely by mid-November
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