Jaipur, March 30 :
A grand total of only seven women candidates have been fielded by the Congress and the BJP to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Rajasthan.
Voting for the 25 parliamentary constituencies in the state will take place April 17 and 24.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded only one woman candidate – Santosh Ahlawat – who would contest from Jhunjhunu. This is when the state’s chief minister is a woman,” said V.K. Sharma, a political analyst.
The Congress has fielded six women candidates with Rajbala Ola taking on Santosh Ahlawat in Jhunjhunu. Others in the fray are Munni Devi Godara (Pali), Chandresh Kumari (Jodhpur), Resham Malviya (Banswara), Girija Vyas (Chittorgarh) and Jyoti Mirdha (Nagaur).
Three of the women candidates fielded by the Congress are members of the outgoing Lok Sabha.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the two parties had fielded a total eight women candidates.
“BJP fielded three women while Congress put up five. Three of the five Congress candidates won while all the three BJP nominees tasted defeat,” said the analyst.
He added that the defeat of women candidates might have deterred the BJP from giving opportunity to women this time.
A women’s rights activist said that “the ticket distribution has proved how serious political parties in Rajasthan are about having women in positions of power”.
She demanded that each party should field women candidates from at least 30 percent of the total constituencies.