Chennai: In a first, AIADMK and DMK have nominated highest number of women candidates in the Assembly election held so far. AIADMK contesting in 227 seats has nominated 31 women candidates while DMK has named 19 women candidate out of the 174 seats contested by it. According to the state Assembly election statistics since 1977, AIADMK with its nomination of 31 women candidates for the May 16 Assembly election has bettered its own record of fielding of 27 women in 1991 polls.
However, in terms of percentage of seats allotted to women, AIADMK has allotted only 13.65 per cent seats to women for the ensuing election whereas it had allotted nearly 16 per cent seats in 1991. The 16 per cent seats allotted to women by AIADMK in 1991 is highest per cent of seat allocated by any major party in the state. DMK which has nominated 19 women candidates in this election, has for the first time touched the double-digit mark (10.91 per cent) in terms of percentage of seat allocated for women. Previous best for the DMK was in 2006 when it 9.09 per cent of seats to women (12 out of 132 seats).
Interestingly, DMK has started fielding women candidates in double digit only since 2001 polls. Sheelu, the president of Women’s Collective, said that she did not consider the increased nomination of women candidate as a positive sign. “Both the Dravidian parties are claiming to support the 33 per cent women reservation bill. If they are really in favour of it, they should have fielded women candidate for 33 per cent of the state without waiting for the bill to be passed,” she said, adding that even if one party had done it, other would have no other option but to follow the suit.
She complained that parties do not give winning seats to women. Dismissing the argument of parties that there are not many familiar women candidates in the constituencies, she said that it only shows that women are not given equal opportunity to grow in their party structure. Writer and DMK leader Salma feels that unless the women reservation bill is passed, the situation will remain the same. She demanded that the BJP, which enjoys majority in Lok Sabha should go ahead pass the reservation bill.
“The previous Congress led UPA government which depended on the outside support of Samajwadi Party led by Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD in Lok Sabha, could not pass the reservation bill without the support of the alliance partners,” she said. BJP should pass the bill and should seek support from likes of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa for it, she noted....