Winnability, thy name is woman

Winnability, thy name is woman

It is not only glitz and glamour that women MPs are all about. With a majority of the MPs daring to talk about the complex issues of development and change, many of them have already prepared their maiden speech in the 15th Lok Sabha.

With sound academic background coupled with top class professional qualifications, these young leaders have shown the political world that their “winnability” is undoubtable.

Look at Annu Tandon, the Congress winner from Unnao in UP, which is the largest constituency in the country in terms of population. Tandon defeated her nearest rival, BSP’s Arun Shankar Shukla by a huge margin of over 3 lakh votes.

Coming from a corporate background. Tandon wants to focus on infrastructure in her constituency. “The verdict has overwhelmed me and has steeled my resolve to bring my constituency to the level it has long been denied,” she says.

A major factor which went in favour of Annu Tandon has been her association with the district as a social worker for the last 10 years.

She has played an important role in promoting education in the district, and providing resources to children from humble background to facilitate their learning. Hriday Narain Dhawan Charitable Trust (HNDCT), established in the memory of Late Hriday Narain Dhawan, father of Tandon, works for the uplift and development of the villages of UP.

Similarly, Shruti Chaudhary, daughter of Haryana Minister Kiran Chaudhary and a feisty young lawyer elected from Bhiwani, has not forgot to pitch for schemes by the state and the Centre. The Indo-US nuclear deal, waiver of electricity dues by the state government and the Centre’s farm loan waiver are duly projected.

“I told my voters that I have been handpicked by Sonia Gandhi to continue the good work of my family and I want to bring basic amenities to the villages,” she says.

All Mamata’s (wo)men

Trinamool Congress fielded four women candidates, including chief Mamata Banerjee. Much to the chagrin of the CPI(M)-led Left, all of them emerged victorious. Mamata had deliberately chosen candidates who could give a tough fight to the CPI(M) stalwarts. But who could foresee that Bengali actress-turned-producer  Satabdi Roy  would unsettle the applecart of Braja Mukherjee, the CPI(M)’s district secretary and four time zilla sabhadhipati in Birbhum that had only been sending Marxists to Parliament, by more than 62,000 votes? Is it due to Satabdi’s image as an actress alone or something more than that?

More surprising was the win of medical practitioner Dr Ratna De Nag from the Hoogly constituency where she unseated seven-time CPI(M) MP Roopchand Pal by a margin of 81,000 votes. As for Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, a surgeon, her winning margin of over two lakh votes from Barasat was a big blow to the veteran Sudin Chatterjee of Forward Bloc.

No glam doll

Priya Dutt, 42, a certified Scuba diver, dived into politics after the sudden death of her illustrious father Sunil Dutt, who was the union minister of sports in 2005. In the ensuing bye-election, the Congress fielded Priya and she won comfortably against Shiv Sena’s Madhukar Sarpotdar.

The 2009 LS poll was a verdict on Priya’s work in her constituency. She was elected by a huge margin from Mumbai North Central.

Born to the famed actor couple Sunil Dutt and Nargis, Priya has done BA from Mumbai University, and later did her media training in New York. She was a camera assistant and later production assistant in New York in 1989. She did her diploma in television production, directing and editing from US in 1990.

During communal violence of 1992-93, she worked with Muslim refugees along with her father. She is married to Owen Roncon, a partner in a music promotion company. The couple has two sons.

Supriya Sule, 41, elected with a record margin of over three lakh votes from her family home turf Baramati constituency in Pune district, is the only daughter of the NCP president Sharad Pawar.

A B.Sc. degree holder, she married Sadanand Sule in 1992, She has a son and a daughter. She was elected to the Rajya Sabha in September 2006 and is a trustee of the Nehru Centre in Mumbai. Before that and for past three years, Supriya has been organising women's conventions and is active in helping self-help groups of women.

Bhavana Gawli, 36, represents Washim-Yavatmal constituency in Vidarbha. Her current win is a hattrick, after winning in 1999 and 2004. She is a member of Shiv Sena. Bhavana is married to Capt Prashant Surve. She is the daughter of Shiv Sena leader Panditrao Gavli.

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