Most Punjab parties, save the Left, field women in polls

Chandigarh | Updated: Jan 22 2007, 05:30am hrs
Political partries in Punjab, the state which has been in the news for high female foeticide incidences, seem to be gradually realising the importance of women in politics, if one goes by the recent list of candidates. The trend-setter is the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which has given party tickets to five women for the February 13 polls. In the last elections, SAD fielded only three women.

Interestingly, SADs alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is also likely to give tickets to three women from its quota of 23 seats. Party leader Sushma Swaraj, who was here, said in her view at least three women should be given tickets. The party has announced names of 15 candidates. However, no woman figures in that list.

According to BS Chahal, advisor to the Punjab chief minister, the ruling Congress has included six women in its list of canadidates.

However, the Left parties have drawn a blank. Considered more progressive than the others, the CPI(M) and CPI have announced a list of 45 candidates, with no woman in the list. The CPI has announced 30 candidates. The Lok Bhalai Party, another ally of the Left in Punjab, too, has not nominated a single woman. It has announced candidates for the 12 seats.