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Woman only nine percent of newly-elected legislators in five states

Thursday May 19, 2011 08:07:45 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The recent assembly elections in five states in India did give the country two more women chief ministers but the gross representation of women in these assemblies is a dismal nine percent.

According to a poll result analysis by think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), women legislators comprise just 72 of the 824 newly elected legislators in the five new assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

This is when all the major parties in these polls have been supporting the Women's Reservation Bill calling for 33 percent reservation in the assemblies and parliament. The bill, which has been passed by the Rajya Sabha, is pending in the Lok Sabha.

While J. Jayalalithaa is the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu following the results declared last week, Mamata Banerjee is to be sworn in the new chief minister of West Bengal Friday.

"Overall, the total number of women MLAs (legislators) in these five assemblies has reduced from 80 in 2006 to 72 in 2011," said a statement from Election Watch, the election analysis wing of the ADR.

Among the five assemblies, West Bengal has the highest number of women members - 34 (12 percent) of the 294-member assembly. It is followed by Assam with 14 (11 percent) women members in the 126-member house, Tamil Nadu with 17 (seven percent) in the 234-member assembly, and Kerala with only seven (five percent) women legislators out of 140.

Puducherry has no women elected to its 30 member assembly.

Party-wise, the highest number of women legislators are from Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, with 24 women lawmakers (13 percent).

The Congress, which won on its own in Assam, and in alliance in Kerala and West Bengal, has overall 17 women legislators (10 percent). Of these, 11 are in Assam, four in West Bengal and one each in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Jayalalithaa's AIADMK is third with 12 women legislators (8 percent).

Interestingly, 26 percent of these women are multi-millionaires, with Jayalalithaa topping he list of the richest.

"A total of 19 (26 percent) women MLAs out of the total of 72 women MLAs are crorepatis (multi-millionaire). The maximum number of crorepati women MLAs is from Tamil Nadu (nine) followed by Assam (six) and West Bengal (four)," the report said.

The top two, in terms of assets, are Jayalalithaa (AIADMK) from Tamil Nadu (Rs.51.4 crore) followed by Kasturi Das (Trinamool Congress) from West Bengal (Rs.7.2 crore).

In addition, 13 women MLAs out of 72 (18 percent) have pending criminal cases against them.

Comparatively, 244 men MLAs out of a total of 752 (32 percent) have pending criminal cases against them.




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