With 50 pc quota, it's scramble among women for tickets

This is for the first time the State government has mandated 50 per cent reservation for women in the BBMP Council. And, not many former male corporators are happy because many have lost an opportunity to contest the polls this time.

All the three major political parties - the Congress, BJP and JD (S) are claiming that there are too many women aspiring for tickets. Among the 198 seats in the Palike council, 99  are for women. Till now, the reservation for women was 33 pc.

Though political parties are claiming that there is no dearth for women candidates, it is men who are deciding who should decide from where. The scene is the same in all the three parties.

KPCC women’s wing chief Laxmi Hebbalkar, when contacted by this newspaper, said that she became the president just 45 days ago, and hence requires more time to get involved in selection process of candidates. However, she said she would be involved in campaigning.

“There were more than 2,000 women ticket aspirants. Candidates, be it men or women, are selected based on their winning ability. The selections are done based on the recommendations made by the seniors,” she said.

One aggrieved former corporator is Rajendran R, who was Congress corporator from MS Nagar. The ward was reserved for the Scheduled Castes last time. Now, the seat has been reserved for women (B category). Rajendra has been forced to make way for a woman from his party. In all probability, Bhuvana, who is new to electoral politics, could be the choice of the Congress, according to Rajendran.

The response
How does he feel about the increase in reservation for women? Rajendra said: “I had nurtured the ward so well that I won four awards for my performance. One needs experience to function as a corporator because understanding the KMC Act and rules is very important. There is a vast difference between taking care of a single house and 5,000 houses, isn’t it?”

 “Whoever may become corporator from MS Nagar, I will have to keep a tab on developments because I belong to this ward,” he added. Like Rajendran, Pillappa, former BJP corporator from Doddabommasandra is not able to contest because the ward is reserved for women. He has sought ticket for his wife.

“There was no need for such high percentage of reservation for women. Candidates should be selected on the basis of their merit. I hardly saw women corporators performing effectively in the last Council. Neither they did field work or nor participated in the meetings. Their work is done by their husbands. Of course, a handful were exception,” he said.

State JD (S) women’s wing chief Sheela Naik will be the candidate from the Jnanabharati ward. A lawyer by profession, she is contesting polls for the first time. The ward has been reserved for women (SC).

Asked whether women have come forward to contest, Naik said, “There is clamour for tickets. There are five to six aspirants for a seat. Corruption would come down if women are elected. Anyway, winnability is the criteria to select candidates.”

BJP City President Subbanarasimha said his party is fielding only 10 to 12 women former corporators. “Among the 99 women to be fielded, a majority of them would be new to electoral politics. Women party workers or wives of former corporators have been selected. At least there would be 10 to 15 women doctors/engineers as our candidates,” he said.

Former coporator Ashwath Y N was in the Council as BJP member from Kempegowda ward. This time he is not contesting because the ward is reserved for women (BCM). However, he welcomed the reservation for women. 

 

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