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2019-05-27

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Indian Polity
www.thehindu.com

At 78 elected women MPs, the 17th Lok Sabha would have the highest number of women representatives ever. They would account for 14.4% of the entire strength of the Lower House, an increase from the 12.5% (65) women MPs in the last Lok Sabha.

“This is for the first time in independent India that such a large number of women MPs are sitting in Parliament,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a speech to the newly elected NDA MPs and senior leaders gathered in Parliament’s Central Hall on Saturday. “This has been made possible due to women power,” he added.

With 40 women MPs, the BJP has the largest number of elected women representatives among the parties because of the sheer size of its victory. It is followed by Trinamool Congress (9), Congress (6), BJD (5) and the YSRCP (4), as per data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms.

However, it is the regional parties that boast of a higher ratio of women MPs in the new Lok Sabha. Women account for 41.6% of BJD’s 12 Lok Sabha MPs and 40.9% of the TMC’s strength in the House. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik had pledged to respectively ensure 40% and 33% women’s representation among their party’s candidates.

Strike rate

Women account for 18.2% of the winning candidates for Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). Among the national parties, women make up a mere 13.3% of the BJP’s total strength in the Lok Sabha and 11.8% of the Congress’s MPs.

Women candidates from the BJP also displayed a high winnability ratio, or strike rate, with 75.5% or 40 of the 53 women fielded by the party bagging a Lok Sabha seat. Similarly, 71.4% of women candidates fielded by the BJD won and 39.1% of women candidates given a ticket by the TMC were elected. In case of YSRCP, DMK and NCP, all women candidates fielded by them were elected as MPs.

The 78 women elected as MPs were from a total of 716 women candidates who fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which is a success rate of 10.9%. This is much higher than the 6.4% success rate for male candidates.

A higher success rate or winnability factor shown by women candidates is consistent with the past record.

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