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Representation of women in Delhi Assembly so far is abysmally low

The two female Congress MLAs were Krishna Tirath and Tajdar Babar and that from BJP was Purnima Sethi

Sunday February 9, 2020 2:58 PM, Nivedita Singh, IANS

Representation of women in Delhi assembly

New Delhi: A total of 31 women have been elected to the Delhi Assembly since its first election in 1993, with highest number of MLAs being 20 from the Congress in a span of 22 years till 2015.

In the first and second Assemblies, in 1993 and 1998 respectively, the BJP had one female member in each term to the House, while no other party's female candidate was ever elected to the House after that period.

In 1993, the first Assembly of Delhi, there were three women elected to the House. While two of them were from the Congress, one was from the BJP.

The two female Congress MLAs were Krishna Tirath and Tajdar Babar and that from BJP was Purnima Sethi. It is worth mentioning that Tirath has been fielded by the Congress again for the 2020 Assembly election from Patel Nagar Assembly.

In the next Assembly in 1998 -- when Sheila Dikshit became the Chief Minister of Delhi for the first time -- maximum number of women were elected to the House. The Assembly elected nine women, out of which eight were from the Congress and one was from the BJP -- Sushma Swaraj from Hauz Khas.

This was also a landmark year as post this, no female BJP leader has been elected to the House till date.

In 1998, BJP's Sushma Swaraj was elected to the House after she served as the Chief Minister of Delhi in the first Assembly for a brief period just before the Assembly elections.

Dikshit became the only second female Chief Minister of Delhi.

Apart from the two -- Dikshit and Swaraj -- seven other women from the Congress were elected to the House: Tajdar Babar, Kiran Choudhary, Sushila Devi, Anjali Rai, Darshna, Krishna Tirath and Meera Bhardwaj.

Both Swaraj and Dikshit passed away in 2019, within a period of one month.

In 2003, the third Assembly of Delhi was elected with seven women -- all from Congress. While Tajdar Babar, Krishna Tirath, Anjali Rai and Sheila Dikshit were re-elected, the other three women elected to the House were Kiran Walia, Barkha Singh, and Meera Bhardwaj.

In 2008, when the national capital elected the fourth Assembly, there were three Congress MLAs -- Sheila Dikshit, Kiran Walia and Barkha Singh who were re-elected.

The political picture of Delhi changed after the Aam Aadmi Party was formed in 2012.

The city went for polls in 2013 and there were three women elected to the House, this time, all were from the AAP -- Veena Anand, Rakhi Birla and Bandana Kumari. In 2013, no party got a clear majority and so, AAP and Congress joined hands to form a government for 49 days.

Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of the city but he resigned after 49 days.

The city again went for polls in 2015 and this time, the AAP bagged 67 of the 70 seats. There were six women elected to the House and all were from the AAP.

While Rakhi Birla and Bandana Kumari were re-elected, Alka Lamba, Bhavna Gaur, Parmila Tokas and Sarita Singh were also elected to the House.

Lamba was disqualified from the Assembly after she switched to the Congress in 2019. In the 2020 Assembly polls, she contested from Chandni Chowk as a Congress candidate.

Till the sixth Assembly of the Delhi, there were a total of 31 females elected to the House with 20 females from Congress, nine from the AAP and two from the BJP.

Also, no independent female has been elected to the Delhi Assembly so far.

In 2020 Assembly polls, a total of 79 women are trying their luck with 24 of them from the Congress, BJP and AAP.

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at nivedita.singh@ians.in)

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