No woman candidate from major parties

Rajbiraj, November 16

There is not a single woman candidate from any major political party contesting the forthcoming provincial and parliamentary polls in Saptari.

Nepali Congress, the left alliance comprising the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal have all provided tickets only to males for elections to the House of Representatives and provincial assembly in the district.

According to the district election office, a total of 152 candidates from various political parties, including independents, have filed their nominations for the polls. The candidates will be fighting for four parliamentary and eight provincial assembly seats in the district.

However, fringe parties have fielded six women as candidates for the polls. Among them are Kamaleshwori Khanga from Bahujan Shakti Party, Niro Devi Thakur from Nepal Majdur Kisan Party and Manata Kumari Das, an independent candidate. They are vying for parliamentary berths in Saptari Constituency No 2. The other women candidates include Gulairbati Devi from Rastriya Prajatantra Party, who will be contesting the provincial polls in Constituency-1 ‘Kha’, Kisanwati Chaudhary from Naya Shakti Party and Abita Bishwokarma from Desbhakta Janatrantrik Nepal, both of whom are in the poll fray in Constituency-4 ‘Kha’.

Local women leaders from major political parties have expressed dissatisfaction with the way their parties distributed election tickets. Ramila Sha, a local, said the allocation of poll tickets only for men had underestimated women and their potential to do as good in politics. Another local Rekha Devi Karna described the disparity as an outcome of a patriarchal mindset of the party leaderships.  Anju Yadav, a social worker, pointed out the need to fight against such inequality. Major political parties in the district maintained that they could not offer tickets to female aspirants due to the alliance formation.