The election to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly is due to be held early next year. Every political party is gearing up for the forthcoming election to ensure they win the maximum number of seats and each of the political party would have a list of promises to attract the voters to its own side.
The women voters can bring a change by ensuring increase in the number of women’s representation in the State Assembly. This is precisely for the practical reason that more than 50 % of the voters in our state are women and they cannot be ignored and under represented. During the campaign for the upcoming election, the political parties would definitely like to attract the women voters by highlighting the issues of gender equality, women empowerment and their safety and these issues would also find a prominent place in the election manifesto of the political parties.
The two prominent national political parties the BJP and the Congress have women’s wings in the state.
The Congress party which is in power in the state could well boast that it does offer party tickets to women candidates. In 2013 Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Election, the state witnessed four women candidates registering a remarkable win and making their entry in the 60 member house and notably all of them are from the Congress party. With the win of Chokpot Assembly seat by a woman candidate in 2015 bye-poll, the total number of women MLAs in the Assembly has risen to 5, whereby the percentage of women representation in the Assembly has gone up to 8.33%, which I believe is the highest so far and for securing this high percentage the Congress deserves to be applauded.
The BJP which is in power in the centre are looking forward to win majority of seats in the 2018 assembly election and thereafter to form the government in the state. It would be quite interesting to see how many party tickets the BJP gives to the women candidates in the upcoming assembly election.
My concern is that there is a need for increase of women representation in the Assembly and their percentage is required to be raised by encouraging women candidates to come forward to contest elections so that we get more and more women MLAs. All political parties including the regional parties must ponder on this issue and do the needful to ensure maximum women representation.
Aneeta Synrem (Shillong)