Shillong, May 5: The All-India Mahila Congress today declared that “winnability factor” would determine how many women would contest the 2013 battle of ballots in Meghalaya.
Flaunted as a matrilineal state, the present Assembly has only one woman — Mazeal Ampareen Lyngdoh.
“Let us see which women can come up and contest the elections as the winnability factor will have to be kept in mind while deciding the candidates,” the All-India Mahila Congress president, Anita Verma, told reporters this evening.
Having learnt a lesson from the Uttar Pradesh electoral drubbing, Verma indicated that the Congress was keen not to commit the same mistake of selecting “wrong” candidates for elections.
She was here to attend a daylong programme with state, district and block leaders to strengthen the Mahila Congress down to the grassroots.
“We will be reaching right up to the booth level where the people, especially women, would be sensitised on a number of government initiatives, especially the flagship programmes of the UPA coalition,” Verma said.
Harping on the need to educate women, she said: “Educating the girl child is of utmost importance and we would ensure that women are being educated even at the grassroots.”
According to the 2011 census figures, Meghalaya has a total of 18,17,761 literates including 883,670 women. This at 75.48 per cent is much higher than the national literacy rate of 74.04 per cent.
The Mahila Congress chief also announced that time had been given till August-September to complete organisational work at the booth level.
Two women observers will be touring different parts of the state to find out the problems afflicting women and the performance of the flagship programmes.
After completing the tour, the observers will also prepare a report, where, among others, the “winnability factor” of prospective women candidates will be highlighted.
“We can make suitable recommendations to the party’s election committee on women who have a chance of winning. But the ultimate decision would lie with the leadership,” Verma said.
She also refuted when asked whether the organisational work was being undertaken in view of the forthcoming polls. “This is part of our national agenda and we are doing it in all the states,” she added. The elections to constitute the ninth Legislative Assembly are scheduled to be held in February-March next year. Instructions were also given to the state Mahila Congress to help women in distress, especially those who are victims of crime.
“Women in distress and particularly the victims of crime can approach the Mahila Congress which will then coordinate with the state police and also the women’s commission,” Verma said.