50 per cent reservation, but tickets go to councillors' wives

50 per cent reservation, but tickets go to councillors' wives

Even with women reservation, family comes first, with genuine party workers ‘denied’ tickets

Will Delhi, with its large migrant population and limited resources in already developed areas, get deserving women candidates to lead the city? Reports of the 50 per cent reservation for women being ‘misused’ are surfacing? DH Photo

Delhi is the first city in the country to provide 50 per cent seats for women in its municipalities, indeed a commendable achievement — a move that even BJP women workers are appreciative.

“Perhaps, it is the only good thing in the trifurcation Bill,” said a BJP women ticket-seeker.
However, the hopes that the Bill has raised for thousands of women workers in both BJP or Congress, could be dashed with the trend of all sitting councillors or male party workers pushing for their wives’ tickets in reserved wards.

Genuine women party workers feel cheated and disappointed.

If one goes by a BJP party insider, the ‘women reservation’ is turning out to be ‘spouse reservation’ as almost every sitting municipal councillor is demanding ticket for his wife or another woman in the family.

“With 50 per cent women, no doubt, there will be more women members. But how many genuine party workers will get tickets remains to be seen. Presently, almost all sitting councillor are pushing for their wives’ tickets from reserved seats, while deserving women party workers are running from local MLA to district presidents and other senior leaders to get themselves a ticket,” said a BJP official.

“I am the BJP treasurer of Raj Nagar Assembly constituency and an active worker for the last 18 years. My name is also second in the list prepared by the district unit. I am hoping that I will get the ticket this time,” said Pushpa Mishra, who plans to contest from Raj Nagar reserved seat for women.

However, the sitting BJP councillor from the area is also pushing for his wife’s ticket. The story is the same across rival Congress camp.

Vijay Laxmi Chaddha, 58, was an active member of north-east district Mahila Congress and had led several protest in the last years demanding 50 per cent reservation for women.

However, now that her ward has been reserved for women, she is not sure about getting a ticket. Reason? The sitting councillor wants his spouse to contest.

“I have been actively working for the area and party for the last two decades. I have fought for women reservation. I was part of all the protest against BJP’s misrule in MCD.

Yet, I am not sure if i will be given a ticket because the sitting congress councillor wants his wife to contest,” said Chaddha, resident of ward No. 10, a reserved ward for women.

Manju Dikshit, block president of Mahila Congress from Kondli, also complained that though she is being given hopes of getting a ticket in ward No. 215, insiders have confirmed that the ticket will be given to the wife of Ajay Verma, a Congress worker.

Is it fair?