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Alka Jain

The Election Commission of India revealed that only 8 per cent of candidates fielded in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 are female.

As many as 102 constituencies will go to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 which will see 1,625 candidates in political fray on April 19. Of these, only 134 candidates are female, which accounts for 8% of the total candidates of phase one.

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, around 9% (726) of the total candidates were women. Of these, only 78 were made it to the 17th Lok Sabha. 

The data released by Election Commission of India reflects that political parties are not in a hurry to field more women candidates, despite the Bill to reserve 33% seats for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies passed in September 2023.

In phase one, Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar Islands had fielded the highest number of female candidates, 16% or 1 and 2 respectively, among 21 states and union territories. On the other hand, six states or UTs including Manipur, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir have not fielded any female candidate. 

Among other states/UTs, Arunachal Pradesh has fielded only one woman candidate in 2024 general elections, Bihar 3, Madhya Pradesh 7, Maharashtra 7, Meghalaya 2, Puducherry 3, Rajasthan 12, Sikkim 1, Uttar Pradesh 7, Uttarakhand 4, and West Bengal 4. 

Tamil Nadu had fielded the highest number candidates in the phase one of Lok Sabha elections, that is, 950. Of these, 76 are female, the EC data shows. 

Meanwhile, the ADR report 252 had declared criminal cases against themselves. Among them, a whopping 161 had declared ‘serious’ criminal cases. Notably, these are the candidates in the fray for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls only.

The remaining phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 will be held of April 26, n May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1. The counting of votes will take place on June 4. 

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