Even though the female voters are nearly equal to the male voters in Bihar when it comes to contesting elections, the ratio changes drastically.
According to the data shared by the Election Commission, out of a total of 1,066 contestants in the fray in the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections, only 144 females have been given tickets from the political parties, translating to a meager 13.5 per cent of all contestants.
According to Bihar’s electoral profile, there are over 3.8 crore male voters and more than 3.4 crore female voters.
However, in the 2015 assembly elections, 273 women were given tickets, out of which 28 won, which means that 11.52 percent of female candidates made it to the Legislative Assembly.
As far as political parties are concerned, Nitish Kumar-lead Janata Dal-United (JDU) has 115 candidates of whom 22 are women (19 percent), while its NDA ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has given tickets to 110 people of whom 13 are women (11.8 per cent).
The move to field more female candidates stems from the fact that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar enjoys popularity among the women voters for banning alcohol in the state. The total prohibition in Bihar was implemented at the behest of female voters.
In the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), the Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) has given tickets to 11 women, out of the 114 candidates. The Congress, which is contesting on 70 seats, has fielded six women.
The Chirag Paswan-lead Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which has fielded 134 contestants, has given tickets to 28 women (28.7 percent). Similarly, HAM (S), which is contesting on seven seats, VIP which is fighting on 11, and CPI-ML which is fighting on 19 seats, have given one seat each to female candidates.
Likewise, women candidates have come from diverse backgrounds like the London School of Economics graduate, Plural Party founder, Pushpam Priya Choudhary, who has declared herself as the chief minister candidate.
Interestingly, Choudhary led Plurals, which is fighting for the first time in the election, has given maximum representation to women, who constitute 28.76% of its total contenders.
Gold medal winner in shooting at Commonwealth Games 2018, Shreyasi Singh, who is contesting from Jamui on BJP’s ticket is also making the headlines.
RJD’s Dr Ejya Yadav is an academician while Amita Bhushan, a Congress contender, is a well-known social worker.