Times of India

A report released by the Tamil Nadu Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed that only 8% of the candidates in fray for the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, are women. The report urged major political parties to field more women candidates to decriminalize and ensure gender equality in the electoral system.

The report, released on Thursday, gives an analytical report of criminal background, financial, education and gender details of candidates contesting in 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

After analysing the affidavits filed by 945 candidates across the state, the report found that only 77 candidates are women. While there are 30 independent candidates, recognised and major political parties like AIADMK, BJP, Congress and DMK have fielded only 14 women candidates. Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) has fielded 19 women candidates, highest among any regional or national political parties.

“While many parliamentary constituencies have majority women voters, it is worrisome to note prominent political parties not giving adequate opportunities to women to contest. Even the parties that speak for reservations have denied fair representation for women in elections,” V Badrinath, member, Tamil Nadu Election Watch said.

In the previous Lok Sabha election too, only around 8% of the total candidates who contested in the state were women. “Voters must study the details of candidates available in affidavits. People should not allow cash or caste to influence the election process,” R Muthukumar, another member added.

Of the 945 candidates, the report says that 135 candidates have criminal charges against them while 81 are facing serious criminal cases. The number of candidates with criminal and serious criminal cases have increased by 2% and 1% respectively between 2019 and 2024 general elections.

The report was launched by P Joseph Victor Raj, convenor of TN Election Watch. The association assured to take up a detailed analysis in the ensuing elections to keep the voters well informed about the candidates fielded in their constituencies.

Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, with 6 assembly segments, has elections on 19 April 2024. Candidates: Pon. V Balaganapathy, Nallathambi, Sasikanth Senthil, Jegadheesh Sandhar. 2019 General Election details: high voter turnout, large victory margin.

1,210 candidates from 13 states contesting across 88 parliamentary constituencies in Phase 2. Karnataka leads in candidates. Maharashtra had 477 nominations, with 204 candidates left. Kerala received 500 nominations, but only 194 remain.

The Hardwar Lok Sabha Constituency in Uttarakhand, known for its political significance, will witness notable candidates in the upcoming 2024 elections, continuing its legacy as a key political battleground.
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