33 women make it to the council
Polling this week for the formation of new Cuttack Municipal Corporation council not only saw emergence of a majority of women corporators cementing their berths in the council, the voting trend among the fair sex in the city was also highly encouraging.
While as many as 33 women made it to the 59-ward council, more than one lakh women voters exercised their franchise from among 2,40,645 votes polled on Thursday. Cuttack city has 3,94,814 voters in its roll and a little less than 61 percent polling was registered this time.
“More women voters turned up to vote in Cuttack because there were many women candidates in the fray this time and moreover, the post of mayor is also reserved for a scheduled caste woman,” said Ranjita Biswal, a journalist-turned-political leader, who made it to the CMC council on a BJD ticket.
Out of 350 candidates in the fray in the whole of city this time, a record 184 of them were women and each of them campaigned very seriously in their respective wards and moved from door to door, staged rallies and addressed meetings to woo the voters.
Interestingly, the women voters were the first to turn up to the booths for voting since morning and almost all the booths witnessed long queues of women till late afternoon. “This shows that the women are now more enthusiastic to be part of the democratic process and are now more active to play roles in electoral process and government formation,” she said.
Notwithstanding the male-dominated electoral politics across the country till date, Cuttack city is going to get its second woman mayor on Thursday. The first mayor of the city was also a woman. Nibedita Pradhan of BJP was elected to the coveted post in 2003 and she served in the same capacity till 2009.
In fact, Cuttack has always provided a welcome platform to women in their political endeavor. The first woman LS member of the state was elected from here when Jayanti Patnaik of Congress got elected from the prestigious Cuttack seat in 1985.