New Delhi: The results of Lok Sabha elections, that will be announced tomorrow, will decide the fate of over 700 women candidates. This election, the Congress fielded the maximum of women candidates (54) while the ruling BJP fielded 53 women.
Among the other national parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fielded 24 women candidates, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) 23, the CPI (M) 10, the CPI four, while one woman candidate was fielded by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Over 222 women contested the polls independently.
Hema Malini, BJP candidate from Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura, is the richest woman nominee in this election with assets worth Rs. 250 crore, followed by Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) DA Sathya Prabha (Rs. 220 crore) from Andhra Pradesh’s Rajampet constituency and the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Rs. 217 crore) from Punjab’s Bathinda, the affidavits showed.
Four transgender candidates also fought elections independently. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the only party to field a transgender nominee. According to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch, 100 (15 per cent) women candidates declared criminal cases against themselves, while 78 (11 per cent) declared serious criminal cases. Two women candidates declared cases in which they were convicted, four declared cases related to murder.
The ADR report said of the 716 women candidate nominations analysed, 255 (36 per cent) were crorepatis. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 33% were crorepatis. Among the major parties, the average worth of assets for Congress’s women nominees is Rs. 18.84 crore, while for the BJP candidates, it is Rs. 22.09 crore.
Six women candidates — all of whom contested the polls independently — have declared zero assets in their self-sworn affidavits.
The ADR said 232 (32 per cent) women candidates declared their educational qualification to be between Class 5 and Class 12 pass, while 396 (55 per cent) declared having an educational qualification of graduate and above.
Thirty-seven women candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 26 are illiterates. Two candidates did not give their educational qualification details.
The report further said 531 (74 per cent) women candidates declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 180 (25 per cent) declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years.
While one woman candidate declared she was over 80 years of age, three did not disclose their age and one said her age was below 25 years, the report said.