Bihar elections, phase 1: A look at women candidates

Increased participation of women in politics would be a stride towards reducing the gender gap. The number of women candidates in the Bihar elections is low. Of the 1,064 candidates in the fray in the first phase, only 144 are women. Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) has the highest number of woman candidates by any political party in the state.
More women voted in 2015 than men. The overall voter turnout was 56.66 percent, which included 53.32 percent male and 60.48 percent women voters. The state has around 7.3cr voters, comprising 3.5cr women.
Here are the key women candidates in phase 1:
Sushumalata Kushwaha –JD(U) has fielded a young woman candidate from the Jagdishpur seat in the Bhojpur district. She will be contesting against sitting MLA from RJD Ram Vishnu Singh. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also congratulated Sushumalata on the arrival of a baby girl. She was campaigning when she went into labor and gave birth to her second daughter.
Shreyasi Singh – These elections mark her debut in Bihar politics. She is an Arjuna awardee and a commonwealth gold medallist in shooting. She will be contesting from Jamui Assembly seat. Singh has a strong political background as both her parents were members of Parliament from the Banka constituency. She is fighting against RJD’s Vijay Prakash, who has criminal cases against him.
Manorama Devi – JD(U) candidate has a tainted history. She is the sitting MLC from the Gaya district. Her son Rocky has been convicted for the murder of a student in Bihar. Her late husband Bindeshwari Prasad Yadav had a reputation of being a muscleman. She will fight the assembly elections from Atri assembly seat in Gaya district. She is also one of the richest candidates with assets worth Rs 53cr.
Anjum Ara – She is contesting from Dumraon in Buxar district. She is known for her work towards women empowerment. Sitting JD(U) MLA Dadan Singh Pehalwan was denied ticket this time, and the party reposed its trust in her. She is the party’s state spokesperson and also possesses a clean image.
The first phase will go to polls on October 28. The results will be out on November 10.
Constituencies such as Banka, Munger, Sheikhpura, Mokama, Arrah, Buxar, Mohania, Bhabua, Sasaram, Dehri, Aurangabad, Bodh Gaya, Gaya Town, Chakai and others will go for polling in the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections. Bihar polls will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3, and November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.

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