Women In Uttarakhand Assembly: Frozen At 5/70

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Women In Uttarakhand Assembly: Frozen At 5/70

Only five women have been elected to the Uttarakhand assembly this year.

Dehradun:  Uttarakhand has a long history of engagement of women in public movements, right from the Chipko movement to protect trees by hugging them in the seventies to the struggle for a separate state two decades later. But women haven't done as well when it comes to holding elected offices.

Only five women have been elected to the state assembly in the just-concluded elections; 62 of the over 630 candidates in the fray this year were women. The outgoing assembly too had only five women lawmakers.

Between the Congress and the BJP, the two big parties fielded just 12 candidates including eight from the Congress. Three won from the BJP, and two from the Congress.

BJP leader Sushila Baluni, also a prominent name in movement for a separate state, said she congratulated the women who made it. "But this is not the Uttarakhand that I and countless other daughters of the hills had struggled for," she said.

The former chairperson of the state's women panel said "recognising the importance of women's role in politics is the beginning of recognising their role in democracy."

Among the three women who made it from the BJP is a politician who joined from the Congress, Rekha Arya and the daughter of a former chief minister, Ritu Khanduri Bhushan. The third was Meena Gangola from Gangolighat who won with a little over eight hundred votes.

From the Congress, the two successful lawmakers include Mamta Rakesh who took the plunge in electoral politics from Bhagwanpur seat after her husband's death in 2015. She defeated her brother-in-law Subodh Rakesh by over two thousand votes, retaining the seat she had first won in a by poll.

Three-time legislator Indira Hridayesh, also made it. She was a senior minister in the Harish Rawat government who defeated the BJP's Jogendra Rautela, who is the Haldwani Mayor.

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