DROPPING FROM 59 per cent, the success rate of women candidates in the 2022 Gujarat Assembly elections, which recorded 40 female candidates from all four political parties, reduced to 37.5 per cent as only 15 women candidates made it to the House.
Among these 15 newly elected women MLAs, 14 won from the largest political party (BJP), which had fielded 17 women candidates, followed by one out of 14 contesting from the Congress. Not a single woman candidate from AAP, which had fielded seven candidates, and none of the two AIMIM candidates could make it to the House.
The women’s representation in the Assembly went up from 7.1 per cent in the previous House to 8.2 per cent in 2022. The highest number of women MLAs (16) was recorded in 2007 and 2012 when 8.7 per cent of the legislators were women.
The success rate of women remained higher in last Assembly elections as 59 per cent (13 candidates) of the total 22 candidates from BJP and Congress won seats in 2017 as compared to 2012 elections, when 51 per cent (16) of the 31 women candidates had won.
On the declining success rate, Varshaben Doshi, BJP state vice president, told The Indian Express: “It is not the question of number of women MLAs, but who are these. All BJP women MLAs are educated and experienced as some are on their second and even third term. They are capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.”
Moreover, the winning women candidates have recorded a high victory margin — two even crossed one lakh margin. Among all women candidates, BJP candidate from Rajkot West Dr Darshita Shah recorded the highest margin of 1,05,975 votes. She defeated her male counterpart Mansukhbhai Kalariya of Congress.
Another female candidate, the first-time candidate, Payal Kukrani of BJP, who won from Naroda, has recorded a margin of 1,04,740 votes, defeating Omprakash Tiwari of AAP.
Others above 50,000 vote margin are Manisha Vakil (98,597) from Vadodara City, Kanchanben Vinubhai Radadiya (63,799) from Thakkarbapa Nagar, Sejalben Rajivkumar Pandya (62,554) from Bhavnagar East, Sangitaben Rajendra Patil (58,009) from Limbayat, Darshna M Vaghela (54,173) from Asarwa and Rivaba Ravindrasinh Jadeja (53,570) from Jamnagar North.