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Meet the Women Candidates Changing the Political Space in Bihar Elections 2020

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

In the last four legislative assembly elections the northern state has witnessed a steady rise in the number of female voters. In 2015, there was 60.48% of female voters, as compared to 53.32% male voters.

The recently concluded 2020 Bihar Elections which began on October 28 is already gearing up for the results which will be released on Tuesday, November 10.

In the last four legislative assembly elections the northern state has witnessed a steady rise in the number of female voters. In 2015, there was 60.48% of female voters, as compared to 53.32% male voters.

Even though this led to a change in strategy for several political outfits who fielded a total of 273 women candidates in the 2015 elections. However, this time around it has seen a significant drop, with very few women candidates having been fielded.

As part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JD(U)) has forwarded 22 women out of the 115 seats they are contesting. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has given tickets to 12 women candidates from the 110 seats they are fighting for. The Grand Alliance comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has given tickets to 16 women, while the Congress has fielded seven and the Left has just one female candidate.

Though the female to male candidates’ ratio is quite low, however it does present a mix of qualifications from various streams of professions. Here’s a look at the some of the notable women candidates of the Bihar assembly elections:

Pushpam Priya Chaudhary

Pushpam Priya Chaudhary who recently launched her own political outfit ‘Plurals Party’ is contesting from two constituencies – Bankipur in Patna and Bisfi in Madhubani. She holds two Master’s degrees, one from the University of Sussex’s Institute of Development Studies and another in public administration from the London School of Economics. She is the daughter of former JD (U) MLA Vinod Chaudhary.

Shreyasi Singh

Shreyasi Singh is contesting on a BJP ticket from Jamuti constituency. The Arjuna awardee and Commonwealth Games gold medallist in shooting is the daughter for former JD (U) leader Digvijay Singh. She’s even got endorsement from Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, who appealed to his supporters to vote for her.

Manju Verma

Manju Verma, a former minister in Nitish Kumar’s government is being fielded by JD(U) from Cheria Bariyarpur. She earlier had to resign in 2018 from Nitish’s cabinet over allegations in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case, as her husband Brajesh Thakur was the prime accused in the case.

Manorama Devi

Manorama Devi is contesting on a JD(U) ticket from the Atri constituency, she is a sitting Member of Legislative Council (MLC) from the Gaya district. She too faced a lot of flak as her son was involved in a road rage case that led to her suspension by the party. Her late husband Bindeshwari Prasad Yadav was a known muscle man.

Sushumalata Kushwaha

The panchayat head from Bhojpur’s Dawa village is known for her developmental skills and has a good reputation in the surrounding areas. Sushumalata Kushwaha is contesting from the Jagdishpur constituency on a JD(U) ticket.

Dr.Asma Parveen

Dr.Asma Parveen is contesting from the Mahua seat on a JD(U) ticket. She is daughter of noted Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Ilyas Hussain. Her opponent is RJD leader TejPratap Yadav. Her notable work during the floods and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is appreciated by a lot of people.

Subhashini Yadav

Subhashini Yadav is contesting from the Bihariganj seat in Madhepura on a ticket from Congress. She recently joined the party and is the daughter of veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav.

Even though the number of women candidates reduced in 2015 from 2010, it remains to be seen how the women candidates fielded in 2020 perform.


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