By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Once again, Delhi has elected only one woman to enter the Lok Sabha, keeping with a sort of pattern.
Of the 16 women candidates who contested from seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi, only Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP has got elected.
There were 164 candidates in all.
Out of total 16 general elections held in Delhi since Independence, seven times only one female candidate was elected.
Since the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, it has been a pattern of electing only one woman and it was followed in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
The same has been repeated this time.
The city did not elect any female candidate six times and only thrice, out of 16 Lok Sabha elections, it elected more than one woman candidate.
Two women were elected from Delhi each in the fifth (1971), 11th (1996) and the 12th (1988) Lok Sabha elections.
In the 1996 and 1998 elections, BJP’s Sushma Swaraj and Congress’ Meira Kumar were elected from Delhi.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha, on all the seven seats, there was a triangular contest between Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the BJP in power at the Centre and the Congress.
While all the three parties are vocal about female empowerment, each of them had named only one female candidate among their seven candidates.
The Congress fielded its three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who came second in the North East Delhi seat as BJP’s Manoj Tiwari won.
The AAP named 37-year-old Atishi from the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat. She came third.
In New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, BJP’s 51-year-old Meenakashi Lekhi was among the two female candidates out of 27 people in the fray.
The number of females to contest the 2019 elections in the national capital saw an increase compared to 2014 but down from that in 2009.
In 2014, out of 150 candidates, 13 were women; while in 2009, out of 160 candidates, 18 women contested the elections. However, only one female each time managed to reach the House.
In 2009, Congress’ Krishna Tirath and in 2014, BJP’s Lekhi became the sole females to be elected to the House from the city.
Tirath was also the single woman elected from Delhi in 2004, while in 1999, BJP’s Anita Arya was elected from the Karol Bagh seat.
The city has also elected single female MP in the first, second and eighth Lok Sabha. No female was elected from the city in the third, fourth, sixth, seventh, ninth and 10th Lok Sabha.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)