Woman power triumphs in BMC

One more male bastion falls to women power. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), considered to be the country’s richest civic body, will witness sari-clad women confidently strutting through its Gothic-structured corridors instead of corporators with handle-bar moustaches.

The 227-strong member house will have 122 women corporators, thanks to the 50 per cent reservation for women in civic bodies and local self-government.

The reservation had also prompted the Shiv Sena to field women candidates in 79 of the 135 seats they contended. It was an irony that the party which had sought ways in the past to promote itself as a “macho political outfit,” this time even fielded women candidates in the open category seats.

The move paid off well as it helped the party to attract the  lower and the lower middle class women to the polling booths.

Though Shiv Sena’s arch-enemy Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had also distributed tickets to women in as many as 111 wards, the ageing uncle’s  emotional plea stirred women voters, neutering the nephew’s electoral strategy.

The result: 44 Shiv Sena women candidates sailed through while only 14 MNS women candidates managed to win. The Shiv Sena ploy also helped 16 BJP women candidates to win.

Cong-NCP trail

The Congress which was left eating crow in the polls had grudgingly given 73 tickets to women out of the 165 seats they fought. And they paid the price for their gender bias, in-fighting and squabbles with ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
Ironically, NCP which had mooted the women reservation last year in the state Assembly and got it passed amidst towering opposition, did not benefit much despite fielding 35 women in the 58 seats they contested. The continuous exchange of flak between the Congress and the NCP throughout the polls had a disastrous impact even on the women contestants.

The Congress will have 28 women corporators against the NCP’s six women. Incidentally, the Samajwadi Party, despite harbouring an extreme conservative image, also managed to prop up three women corporators to 2012 BMC house.

Interestingly, for the past two terms, BMC had been seeing women mayors.

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