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With over 715 female candidates in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, here’s an ongoing look at the fate of the women in the fray.
The outcome of the world’s largest election is upon us. On 23rd May 2019 the votes were counted, and we learnt that the Bharatiya Janata Party with its allies had a landslide victory.
The fate of 8,049 candidates contesting from 542 Lok Sabha seats, for the 17th Lok Sabha was revealed, among them being around 715 women candidates.
The two leading national parties, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded over 50 women candidates each in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
Although the number of women candidates was much lower than male candidates, it was still higher than in the previous elections. We can only do justice to the diversity of women in Indian politics if we know who the women are, where are they from, which party they represent, and what they seek to represent in parliament.
So here we present to you some notable women candidates in the Lok Sabha elections 2019 with an update on their win or loss.
Atishi has been widely praised for her contribution to reforming government schools in Delhi as an advisor to the government. But, as many women in politics sadly experience, she was also subject to some severe misogynistic and casteist abuse on the campaign trail.
Contested from East New Delhi
Party – Aam Aadmi Party
Contested against – Cricketer Gautam Gambhir (BJP)
Results – Lost to Gautam Gambhir (votes secured approximately 1,10,12, 3rd Position secured)
Smriti Irani started her career with television and is also a former model. She made her foray into politics in 2003 when she joined the BJP. In 2014 she was appointed as the Minister of Human Resource Development in PM Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. However, due to much controversy and a cabinet reshuffle she was moved to the Textiles Ministry.
Contested From – Amethi (UP)
Party – BJP
Contested against – Congress President Rahul Gandhi
Results – Defeated Rahul Gandhi by approximately 30,300 votes.
The UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has been on a winning spree in her constituency Raibareli since a very long time. While health reasons have compelled her to take a back seat, she remains a force to reckon with, within the party.
Contested from – Raibareli, Uttar Pradesh
Contested against – Dinesh Pratap Singh (BJP)
Party – INC
Results – Won and secured approx 3,55,192 votes.
Kirron Kher is a familiar face on television and has had a long movie and theatre career. She is married to actor Anupam Kher. Kirron Kher joined the BJP in 2009 and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014 from Chandigarh.
Contesting from – Chandigarh (Punjab)
Contesting against – Pawan Kumar Bansal (INC)
Results – Won and secured approximately 14,654 votes.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Harsimrat Kaur Badal was the Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing in the previous Central Government and a Member of Parliament from Bhatinda. She is a member of the Shiromani Akali Dal, a long-time BJP ally.
Contested from – Bhatinda, Punjab
Party – Akali Dal
Contested Against – Amarinder Singh Raja (INC)
Results – Won and secured approximately 4,90,811 votes.
Sheila Dixit was the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi, serving for a period of 15 years from 1998 to 2013. She is a veteran leader who has returned to contesting elections.
Contested from – North East Delhi
Contested Against – Manoj Tiwari (BJP), and Dilip Pandey from the AAP.
Results – Lost to Manoj Tiwari with a huge margin. Got approximately 55,000 votes and secured the 2nd position.
Yesteryears actor Hema Malini has been the target of much trolling for her inconsistent statements about her political work. In 2014 she contested on a BJP seat and won the 2014 elections from Mathura. She was recently trolled a lot for her “show off” visit to her constituency.
Contested from – Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Contested Against – RLD’s Kunwar Narendra Singh and Mahesh Pathak (Congress)
Results – Won and secured approximately 4,09,325 votes.
Meenakshi Lekhi first got elected to 16th Lok Sabha from the New Delhi constituency, when she defeated AAP’s Ashish Khetan. A qualified Supreme Court of India lawyer, she is a familiar face on TV screens as a BJP spokesperson.
Contested from – New Delhi
Party – BJP
Contested Against – Ajay Maken (INC)
Results – Won and approximately secured 2,82,086 votes
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
Maneka Gandhi was the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in the 2014-19 cabinet of PM Narendra Modi. She is also an animal rights activist, environmentalist, and the widow of Indian politician Sanjay Gandhi. Prior to the 2019 elections, she was castigated for her insensitive comments against Muslim voters.
Contested from – Sultanpur, UP
Contested Against – Chandra Bhadra Singh (B.S.P.)
Results – Won and secured approximately 3,02,477 votes.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur
Pragya Thakur is an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, and the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. She was also one of the accused in the Malagaon bomb blasts. Recently she was condemned for speaking ill about Hemant Karkare (an officer who died fighting terrorists in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks) and by calling Mahatma Gandhi’s Killer Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’.
Contested From – Bhopal (MP)
Contested Against – Digvijaya Singh of the INC
Results – Won and approximately secured 5,21,122 votes.
Poonam Sinha, actor and wife of veteran actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha and mother of actor Sonakshi Sinha recently joined the Samajwadi Party. The 2019 elections were her electoral debut.
Contested from – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Party – Samajwadi Party
Contested against – Rajnath Singh (BJP)
Result – Lost to Rajnath Singh (BJP) . Secured 2nd position with approximately 2,85,724 votes
Dimple Yadab is Samajwadi Party Supremo Akhilesh Yadav’s wife. She is a two time Member of the Indian Parliament from Kannauj, having won in the 2014 elections.
Contested from – Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh
Party – SP
Contested against – Subrat Pathak (BJP)
Result – Lost to Subrat Pathak (BJP). Secured 2nd position with approximately 3,28,228 votes.
Misa Bharti is the daughter of veteran politician Lalu Prasad Yadav who is in jail currently in charges of corruption. In 2014, she had unsuccessfully contested for the Lok Sabha seat of Patliputra and had lost to RJD rebel Ram Kripal Yadav who had joined the BJP.
Contested from – Pataliputra, Bihar
Party – RJD
Contested against – Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP)
Result – Lost to Ram Kripal Yadav by around 30000 votes
Meira Kumar is a five-time Member of Parliament and was the UPA nominee for President of India in the 2017 election. She was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha and served from 2009 to 2014.
Contested from – Sasaram, Bihar
Contested Against – Cheddi Paswan (BJP)
Result – Lost to Cheddi Paswan (BJP). Secured approximately 3,29,055 votes.
Erstwhile Actor Jayaprada first entered politics under the aegis of the Samajwadi Party and contested from the Rampur parliamentary Constituency in UP during the 2004 General election; at the time she was elected to Parliament with a margin of more than 85000 votes. She joined the BJP in 2019. Jaya Prada was in the news because of sexist comments made against her by her competitor and previous mentor Azam Khan.
Contested from – Rampur, Uttar Pradesh
Contested against – Azam Khan, SP
Results – Lost to Azam Khan (SP). Secured 2nd position with approximately 2,49.567 votes
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) declared Bhawani Maa of Kinnar Akhada as its candidate from the Allahabad Parliamentary seat. She is the first Transgender candidate to contest elections in India.
Party – AAP
Contesting from – Paryagraj (UP)
Contesting against – Rita Bahuguna Joshi (BJP)
Results – Lost to Rita Bahuguna Joshi and secured 12th position.
Daughter of Uttar Pradesh Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, Sanghamitra Maurya has been in the news for all the wrong reasons – she hit headlines last month by saying that she would become a goon if anyone tried to bully the people of Badaun. She was also in trouble for promoting ‘Fake voting’ in one of her speeches.
Contesting from – Badayun, Uttar Pradesh
Contesting against – Dharmendra Yadav (SP)
Results – Won and secured approximately 79,775 votes.
Mimi Chakraborty is a well-known model and actor from West Bengal. She joined politics this year.
Contested from – Jadavpur, West Bengal
Party – TMC
Contested against – Bikash Bhattacharya (CPM)
Results – Won and secured approximately 1,76,089 votes
Moon Moon Sen
Moonmoon Sen, is an Indian film actress, known for her works in Bengali and Hindi films. She joined the Trinamool Congress in March 2014 and won in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls from Bankura constituency. She was recently in the news when she came across as oblivious when asked about violence in the West Bengal polls, saying that she was unaware since she “got my bed tea late!”
Contested against – Babul Supriyo (BJP)
Results – Lost to Babul Supriyo and secured 2nd position with 4,35,741 votes.
Queen Oja has previously been the Mayor of Guwahati. Now a BJP member, she entered politics by joining the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
Contested From: Guwahati, Assam
Contested against – Bobbeeta Sharma (INC)
Results – Won and defeated her opponent by around 345606 votes.
Sushmita Dev was a member of the 16th Lok Sabha, representing the constituency of Silchar in Assam. She is currently the president of the All India Mahila Congress.
Contested from – Silchar, Assam
Contesting against – Rajdeep Roy (BJP)
Results – Lost to Rajdeep Roy (BJP). Secured the 2nd rank with approximately 20,600 votes.
Mala Roy is a first time contender from the Kolkata South seat. This seat was previously occupied by TMC chief Mamta Banerjee who did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this time.
Contested from – Kolkata South
Contested against – Chandra Bose (BJP)
Results – Won by 2.60 lakh votes.
Sunita Biswal is the daughter of former Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Hemananda Biswal. Although originally an INC member, she recently joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Contested from – Sundergarh, Orissa
Party – BJD
Contested against – Jual Oram (BJP)
Results – Lost by a huge margin
Nusrat Jahan is a model and a prominent actor in the Bengali film industry. She joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) this year and contested from Basirhat.
Contesting From – Basirhat, West Bengal
Result – Won with a sweeping majority of 7,62,914 votes.
Daughter of veteran DMK leader, the late M.Karunanidhi. Previously a Rajya Sabha member, this was her first Lok Sabha election. She was caught up in several controversies in 2010, among them the Radia Tapes controversy and 2G scam.
Contested from – Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu
Party – DMK
Contested Against – Tamilisai Soundararajan (B.J.P.)
Results – Won with a sweeping majority of 3 lakh votes
An entrant into politics at a very young age, Jothimani was a General Secretary of the Indian Youth Congress a for few years. She lost the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. She has been active in speaking up about ground level issues such as the water scarcity in her state.
Contested from – Karur, Tamil Nadu
Contested against – M Thambidurai (AIADMK)
Results – Won with a sweeping majority of 3,50,000 votes.
Remya Haridas comes from a humble background, with her father being a daily wage labourer and mother a tailor. She came to the spotlight from a talent hunt conducted by the INC to identify future leaders, back in 2010.
Contesting from – Alathur, Kerala
Contesting against – PK Biju CPI(M)
Results – Won with a sweeping majority of 5,50,000 votes.
Maragadam Kumaravel was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kancheepuram constituency as an AIADMK candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Contested from – Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
Party – AIADMK
Contested against – Selvam G. (DMK)
Result – Lost to Selvan G. (DMK). Secured 2nd position with approximately 2,58,740 votes.
Shobha Karandalaje was an MP in the 16th Lok Sabha representing the Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency. A longtime RSS member, she also served as a member of the Karnataka cabinet back in 2012.
Contested from – Udupi–Chikmagalur, Karnataka
Contested against – Pramod Madhwavraj JD(S)
Results – Won with a sweeping majority of 7,20,000 votes.
Sumalatha is the wife of three-time Congress MP and film star Ambareesh who died last year. She contested elections independently this year after she was denied a ticket by the INC.
Contested from – Mandya, Karnataka
Party – Independent
Contested against – Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy JD(S)
Results – Won with a sweeping majority of 7,00,000 votes
President of the Tamilnadu Bharatiya Janata Party and previously a National Secretary of the party, Tamilisai Soudnararajan is a familiar face on media, presenting the party stance on many issues.
Contested against – MK Kanimozhi (DMK)
Results – Lost to MK Kanimozhi (DMK). Secured second position with approximately 95,508.
Tamilachi Thangapandian is a writer, poet and academician and fought her first Lok Sabha election this year, from Chennai South.
Contested from – Chennai South, Tamil Nadu
Contested against – J Jayavardhan AIADMK
Result – Won by a sweeping majority of 5,70,000 votes.
Bangaru Shruti is the daughter of former BJP president Bangaru Laxman’s and has entered the electoral fray for the first time in the Lok Sabha polls.
Contested from – Nagarkurnool, Telangana.
Contested against – Pothuganti Ramulu, TRS
Result – Lost and secured 3rd position
Supriya is the daughter of the President of the Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar. In 2009, she contested the elections for the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency and won. This constituency was previously represented by her father.
Contested from – Baramati, Maharashtra
Party – NCP
Contested Against – Kanchan Kul of BJP
Results – Won and secured approximately 6,86,714 votes.
Priya Dutt is the daughter of actor – politician late Sunil Dutt. She was elected for the first time to the 14th Lok Sabha from Mumbai North West constituency in Maharashtra on 22 November 2005, representing the INC. She represented the Mumbai North Central constituency in the 15th Lok Sabha from 2009. In the 2014 Indian general election, she was defeated by Poonam Mahajan of the BJP.
Contested form – Mumbai North
Contested against – Poonam Mahajan
Results – Lost to Poonam Mahajan (BJP). Secured 2nd position with approximately 3,56,000 votes.
Poonam Mahajan is the daughter of Late Pramod Mahajan. She rose to national prominence by winning against incumbent two-time MP Priya Dutt in the Mumbai North Central Constituency by a margin of 1.86 lakh votes.
Contested from – Mumbai North Central
Contested against – Priya Dutt (INC)
Results – Won and secured approximately 4,86,672 votes.
Well known actor Urmila Matondkar made her entry into politics this year, joining the INC and was almost immediately rewarded with an electoral debut.
Contested from – Mumbai North
Contested against – Gopal Shetty (BJP)
Results – Lost to Gopal Shetty (BJP) by approximately 3 lakh votes
A doctor by qualification, Heena Gavit was a member of the 16th Lok Sabha from the Nandurbar constituency. She has served on various parliamentary committees.
Contested from – Nandurbar – Maharshta
Contested against – Kagda Chandya Padvi (INC)
Results – Won and secured approximately 6,39,136 votes.
With a total of 78 female candidates winning Lok Sabha seats after these elections, this is the highest number of seats ever that women have held in Indian Parliament. The point to be noted is that this is still a very low 14% of total Lok Sabha seats – nowhere close to the actual percentage of female voters in this country.
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