Women demand more tickets from their parties for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections 2023
Women party workers are demanding more tickets for the post of Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA’s) from their parties. Meanwhile, parties say tickets will be given on winnability and other criterion and not just gender.
“These elections will decide the power women hold in politics as there are so many women aspirants not only from one party but from all parties across the state. But now around four to five women are contesting from Bangalore and in a month’s time the numbers are likely to double,” says Mahalakshmi Chennakeshava an Aam Aadmi Party member. AAP has five to six aspirants from Bangalore among which Mahalakshmi Chennakeshava is an aspirant from the Rajajinagar Constituency.
The AAP spokesperson said candidates who had worked for the party and the people in their constituency would get a ticket. “We might have more than 10 percent of women candidates,” he added.
Mohan Dasari, AAP Bengaluru president said, “The tickets given to women will depend on the kind of work they are doing from their constituency., We have good women candidates working such as Shantala Damble from Mahalaxmi check spelling Layout and Mahalaxmi check spelling from Jayanagar constituency.”
While speaking at a news conference, Karnataka Mahila Congress president Pushpa Amarnath said 109 women had applied for tickets in 74 constituencies and she demands for at least 30 tickets for women for the upcoming Karnataka state elections.
Aishwaraya Mahadev, general secretary in charge of media and communications from Indian National Congress (INC) is also a ticket aspirant from Krishna Raja Nagar, Mysore rural. She said, “I think many women have applied. Two to three women are vying from the same constituency including the Mahila Congress president. Even in Bangalore from Dasarahalli, Bomanhalli or from Bangalore south lot of women have applied and from rural areas Padamavadti, Ganga Ambike have also applied”
She said offering tickets to women takes more thinking than it does to men due to patriarchal holdups and also on the fact that elections today are not run on morals but on winnability.
She added “I have faith that this time women will be offered more tickets and the decision will be based on not just winnability but also competence and to simply give women tickets knowing they won’t be able to compete, or win is an insult.”
Pratiba check spelling Aravindh AAP, is a candidate standing for municipal elections from one of the wards in C.V Raman Nagar. She said it requires lot of money to stand as a candidate for assembly elections. “I don’t believe that other parties actually pick candidates based on their calibre, instead it is based on the amount of money they have to offer but in AAP it is about the work and the amount of passion you have,” she added.
Anil Taikal, Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress (INC) said, “We have a very clear and strict policy of allotment of tickets and candidates who are interested come submit their candidature and whoever is given the ticket is done only after proper survey with due diligence is conducted depending on how they have worked in the constituency.”
He said they try to give women candidates the proper consideration but it being a male dominated field it takes time and Congress makes decisions based on their work. “Women candidates might cross even 30 percent or more, it all depends on the winnability factor,” he added
Anil also said, “Candidates like Lakshmi Hebbalkar and Anjali Nimbalkar, Sowmya Reddy, Diana Motamma, Kusuma, Umashree are irreplaceable and if you ask BJP or JD(S) they wouldn’t be able to even name four women from their party.”
MG Mahesh, spokesperson Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) said, “As far as women candidates are concerned in our party, there are more than seven to eight MLAs in Karnataka. Wherever there is a winnability chance, we will give them a chance. There is no thumb rule based on gender as every seat is essential.”
There is a ten percent probability of seats to be occupied by women candidates i.e around 20 seats in these coming elections said the spokesperson.
“If we look at the women representation in the past and compare it to now, the increase is insignificant. Where the parties feel their position is weak and are sure to lose a seat, there they might field women candidates, because they are sure about their defeat. Record of women representation in Congress as compared to BJP is better. Seat allotment is always an appeasement policy,” says Alice Mathew, Head of Department (HOD) of Political Science, Mount Carmel College.
Data from the state legislature website shows that there are 11 women candidates in the legislative assembly of 224 members- three from the BJP, six from the Indian National Congress (INC), one from Janata Dal(Secular) (JDS) and one nominated member from the Anglo Indian community.