From one woman contestant in 1967 to 14 in 2009

Kumari Selja and Shruti Choudhary are among the 14 women candidates now.

Kumari Selja and Shruti Choudhary are among the 14 women candidates now.  

Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Even though the aggregate number of contestants in the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana this time may be lower than the highest 324 recorded in 1989, the 2009 polls will be remembered for the highest number of women candidates in the fray.

A total of 210 candidates including 196 males are left in the race for the May 7 polls in the 10 constituencies across the State. According to data available from the Haryana Election Department, it is for the first time in the last 40 years since the formation of Haryana that the maximum of 14 women are in the fray while the figure of 210 candidates is the third highest in the history of the Lok Sabha elections in the State.

Haryana has participated in 11 Lok Sabha elections since its formation. It witnessed its first Lok Sabha elections in 1967 when 67 candidates including one woman was in the fray but in the 1971 Lok Sabha polls not even a single woman was among the contestants.

However, the 1984 Lok Sabha elections proved the best for women candidates when out of 200 contenders, the highest-ever number of 10 women took part in the battle of the ballot.

In the 1989 elections, 324 candidates entered the fray including three women. And in 1996, only nine women candidates entered the race whereas in 2004 there were only eight women contestants.

Out of the 10 Lok Sabha constituencies, the maximum of three women candidates are in the race for the Bhiwani-Mahendragarh seat while not even a single woman has entered the fray from Rohtak. Interestingly, on the last day of withdrawal of nominations on Wednesday, four out of the 18 women candidates withdrew their names.

The woman candidates in the race this time are: Kumari Selja of Congress from Ambala (Reserved); Sunita Dhariwal, Independent, from Kurukshetra; Pushpa Rani, Independent, from Sirsa; Bhateri, Independent, from Hisar; Mukesh Kumari, Independent, and Kalpna Singh of the Republican Party of India, from Karnal; Sushila of Janchetna Party from Sonepat; Shruti Chaudhary of Congress, Samajwadi Party candidate Saroj Yadav and Samast Bhartiya Party candidate Neel Kawal alias Neelam Agarwal from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh; Independent Bimla Devi and Sudha Yadav of BJP from Gurgaon; Lata Rani of Samajwadi Party and Samast Bhartiya Party candidate Rekha Singh from Faridabad.

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