The Telegraph
Monday , May 19 , 2014
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Voters snub ladies in LS fray

- Except Geeta Koda, all 16 nominees lose their deposit money

Ranchi, May 18: Women candidates failed to win a single seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand.

Seventeen women as against a total of 240 candidates were in the fray on tickets from different parties this year. They bagged almost all positions in the tally table, except the first.

Geeta Koda of Jai Bharat Samanta Party from Singhbhum proved to be the strongest among the women candidates, giving a strong fight to BJP’s Laxman Giluwa. The NaMo wave won over the Ho tribal votes, which Geeta was eyeing to win her husband Madhu Koda’s seat.

However, the remaining 16 candidates lost their security deposits for failing to secure the minimum 1/6th of the valid votes in their respective constituencies.

Even JVM’s Nilam Devi from the Chatra constituency who polled over 1 lakh votes, only after the BJP’s Sunil Kumar Singh (winner) and Congress Dhiraj Prasad Sahu, lost her money.

Though the overall performance of women candidates was poor, a section of women candidates and some election analysts are not ready to write them off immediately.

AAP candidate from Khunti Dayamani Barla said she was not losing hopes as yet.

Chunav hai to haar jeet to hona he hai. Par yeh to dekhiye ki pehle hi chunav mein kitna sneh aur bal mila hai. Aage kaam karte rahne ka prerna mila hai. (Election means one will win and others will lose. But see the kind of support I have received in debut. This will motivate me to continue working for the masses),” she told The Telegraph over phone from Khunti.

An activist, Shalini Samvedana, who had formed a women’s group in Dhurwa to create awareness among voters during the elections, claimed that the women candidates did fairly well. “If they had proper support, they would have won with huge margins. It is an indication that situations will change for better in the coming days,” she observed.

BP Pandey, an election analyst associated with National Election Watch, Jharkhand, echoed Samvedana.

“Take the example of Koderma, where Independent candidate Kanchan Kumari stood sixth. The five who got more votes than her were all from prominent parties — the winner BJP, followed by CPI(ML), JVM, Congress and then Ajsu. It means if they get support and keep a five-year-long target to prepare, no one can stop them,” he explained.

Priya Devi, a BJP supporter, said, “I heard that Modiji will put a woman chief minister in Gujarat. Just wait and watch, this gesture will boost the morale of women in other parts of the country as well. Very soon we will see smart, intelligent women party workers here too. Who knows someone from them will be picked to lead the party in near future.”

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