30,000 aspirants for assembly polls
Looks like over 30,000 people in Bihar want to fight an election!
They are all aspirants who have submitted their biodata to
political parties - mostly directly to party chiefs - to contest the
October-November elections »
Thiruvananthapuram: There is a huge rush of Kerala
women who want to contest next month's local bodies polls because
this time 50 percent of seats have been reserved for them.
Jaya Darly, 32, a former state vice president of Youth Congress,
is hoping that lady luck will smile on her with a ticket.
"I am hopeful that with the new trend of giving preference to
young blood, I can be a Congress candidate. I have been in
politics since my student days," lawyer Darly said making her
The polls are slated to be held Oct 23 and 25. The quota for women
in the local bodies was raised from 33 to 50 percent last year.
The Congress and its main, the Communist Party of India-Marxist
(CPI-M), Kerala's two biggest parties, are expected to field more
than 6,000 women candidates each. Oct 4 is the last date for
Shanimol Usman, president of the Kerala State Mahila Congress,
said the number of women who want to contest from her party has
risen dramatically. "We have more than 1,200 Mahila Congress units
across the state and this was not the case about seven years back.
"At that time, women were slow in coming out of their homes to be
in the forefront of the development process in villages. Today
women are more vibrant and we have a problem of plenty. It is
going to be really difficult because many aspirants will fail to
get a seat," said Usman.
Former Lok Sabha member and CPI-M state committee member C.S.
Sujatha told IANS: "Kerala has had 33 percent reservation for
women for many years. Over the years the participation of women in
governance has been excellent.
"It is only natural that more women will now be there to try their
hand in local bodies governance. We have no problems at all. Our
problem is how to eliminate many women," said Sujatha.
A spokesperson of the State Election Commission told IANS that the
total seats for which polls would be held are 21,612, of which
11,135 have been reserved for women.
"Of these, 8,613 seats would be at the gram panchayat level, 1,051
for block panchayats, 169 for district panchayats, 1,121 in
municipalities and 181 in five corporations," said the Commission
"The general rule is that in a panchayat if the total number of
members is an odd number, then the number of women would be one
more than the men."
P.C. George, vice president of Kerala Congress (Mani), the second
biggest party in the opposition, says he is surprised by the huge
response of women ticket seekers.
"It is a problem because some women cry openly when they are not
nominated. I have got similar feedback from other party leaders,"
Thanks to reservations, Kerala will also see 605 local bodies
headed by women - of the total 1,208 in the state. This includes
489 gram panchayats, 76 block panchayats, seven district
panchayats, 30 municipalities and three corporations.