Lok Sabha polls | Gradual increase in number of women contesting in Tamil Nadu

April 03, 2024 12:26 am | Updated 02:38 pm IST - CHENNAI

Representational image

Representational image | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The number of women entering the fray for the Lok Sabha election from Tamil Nadu has gradually increased, coinciding with the rise in the total number of candidates since the 2009 general election.

According to data from the Election Commission of India (EC), nearly 8% of the 950 candidates contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha election in the State are women. Of these 76 women, seven are contesting in the Karur seat, five in Chennai South, and four each in Dharmapuri and Tenkasi (SC).

There are no women candidates contesting in the Chennai Central, Vellore, Villupuram (SC), Salem, Pollachi, and Thanjavur seats.

The percentage of women candidates contesting in successive Lok Sabha elections in the State, after the delimitation exercise in 2008, saw a gradual increase. Of 823 candidates, who entered the fray in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, only 5.83% were women.

The lone winner among them was J. Helen Davidson, of the DMK, from the Kanniyakumari constituency.

In the next election in 2014, the percentage of women candidates rose to 6.51%. As many as 55 women entered the fray and four of them – all from the AIADMK – K. Maragatham from Kancheepuram (SC); R. Vanaroja from Tiruvannamalai; V. Sathyabama from Tiruppur; and M. Vasanthi from Tenkasi (SC); emerged victorious.

However, the number of women representing the State in the Lok Sabha was reduced to three following the 2019 election. Of 67 women candidates, only Kanimozhi Karunanidhi (DMK) from Thoothukudi; Thamizhachi Thangapandian (DMK) from Chennai South; and S. Jothimani (Congress) from Karur; had won.

Equal representation

In 2024, Seeman’s NTK has yet again given equal representation for women, fielding 20 candidates. The NDA and the INDIA have fielded six and five women each.

The AIADMK is left with a lone woman contender from Tirunelveli.

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