The decrease in the number of women candidates contradicts the tall claims of women empowerment by all political parties.
While the ruling CPI(M), which is in power for two decades at a stretch now, has fielded only five women candidates in this election, the Congress, which is in the opposition and is desperate to dethrone the Left, has chosen just four women. The CPI(M) has fielded 55 candidates while the Congress has given tickets to 48 candidates in all.
In 2008, there were 31 women candidates out of the total 313 candidates. Only three, all representing the ruling party, could win the election. One among them, Bijita Nath, was made the social welfare minister.
The number of women voters , on the other hand, has increased significantly if compared to the last poll. The number of women voters in 2008 was 9,99,219, which has increased to 11,56,476 this time. In five constituencies, namely, Agartala, Town Bordowali, Ramnagar, Simna and Ampinagar, female voters have outnumbered the males. However, neither the CPI(M) nor the Opposition fielded any women candidates from these seats.
Tripura is going to the polls on February 14.