Delhi Votes Atishi, 7 Other Women MLAs To Power – All From AAP
Only eight of the 79 women who contested the Delhi Assembly elections in 2020 have emerged victorious – all from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). In 2015, six women MLAs made it to the Assembly, again all from the same party.
The three prominent parties – the AAP, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress – had fielded a total of 24 women candidates, with the Congress accounting for a maximum of 10 of them. The AAP had fielded nine candidates, eight of whom were elected with a comfortable margin. Sarita Singh, the lone AAP woman candidate who lost, was defeated by the BJP’s Jitender Mahajan Rohtas Nagar with a margin of 12,988 votes.
Popular Face Atishi’s First Electoral Victory
The AAP’s Atishi, who had unsuccessfully contested 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the East Delhi constituency, was fielded from Kalkaji in place of sitting MLA Avtar Singh Kalka. She won the seat by a margin of over 11,300 votes.
Atishi, a popular face of the party, has been credited with transforming Delhi’s government schools.
Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra’s daughter Shivani was also in the fray from Kalkaji. With 4.64 percent of the total votes polled, she finished third and had to forfeit her security deposit.
Former Congress Women Win As AAP Candidates
Two former Congress party leaders – Dhanwati Chandela and Rajkumari Dhillon – who joined the AAP just ahead of the Assembly polls registered wins by a margin of over 20,000 votes.
Interestingly, Dhillon is the first-ever woman candidate, from a major party, fielded from this seat in the last 27 years.
AAP Women Who Retained Seats
Alka Lamba, who was the AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk but later quit the party to rejoin the Congress, faced a crushing defeat from the seat where she polled only five percent of the votes.
However, four AAP women candidates retained their seats from 2015.
- Bandana Kumari retained the Shalimar Bagh seat, by defeating another woman candidate, Rekha Gupta of the BJP, by a margin of over 3,400 votes
- Bhavna Gaur won the Palam seat by defeating the BJP’s Vijay Pandit. She won with a margin of over 32,000 votes. In 2015, Gaur had won the seat by a margin of over 30,800 votes
- Pramila Tokas retained the RK Puram seat, defeating the BJP’s Anil Kumar Sharma by a margin of over 10,000 votes
- Rakhi Birla retained and bettered her victory in the reserved Mangolpuri seat with a margin of over 30,000 votes by defeating the BJP’s Karam Singh Karma
Delhi’s Dismal History With Electing Women
A total of 31 women have been elected to the Delhi Assembly since its first election in 1993, with the highest number of MLAs being 20 from the Congress in a span of 22 years till 2015.
In the next Assembly in 1998 – when Sheila Dikshit became the Chief Minister of Delhi for the first time – the maximum number of women ever elected to the House was recorded. The Assembly elected nine women, out of which eight were from the Congress and one was from the BJP – Sushma Swaraj from the Hauz Khas seat.
Post this landmark year, no female BJP leader has been elected to the House till date.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)
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