Assembly polls: Cong's women leaders demand 'winnable' seatstext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Disappointed and hurt over constant denial of "winnable seats", women Congress leaders in the state have come out in the open demanding safe seats in the May 16 assembly polls.
The demands come as the party is in the process of finalising the list of candidates.
The party's women leaders point out that during the past few elections - both Assembly and Lok Sabha - they have been offered seats generally considered opposition bastions and difficult for the party to win.
While there is only one woman Congress MLA in the present 13th Assembly, there was none the previous one.
Though there are a number of capable women leaders in the party, they've failed to make their presence felt in the House as they are offered seats where the party's prospects are "bleak", state Mahila Congress president Bindu Krishna said.
She also demanded the leadership reserve 25 per cent "winnable" seats for women leaders in the coming polls.
"Congress was a party which once gave great prominence and consideration to women leaders. But in the recent days, women leaders are not getting their due share during candidate selection," Bindu Krishna told PTI.
"Though the party is giving us good moral support, we want it reflected in allocation of seats. So we request 25 per cent seats to be reserved for women in the present assembly polls," Krishna, who unsuccessfully contested in the last Lok Sabha polls, said.
She also said like in many other fields, politics has also become highly male-centric, where people think winning chances of women candidates are less.
Former AICC secretary Shanimol Usman, who had refused to contest from Kasaragod, a CPI(M) pocket borough in the 2014 LS poll, said she was optimistic women leaders would get their due representation this time.
"There is a general opinion among party leaders that women should be given more seats this time. So I am confident they will get their due share. I fully support Mahila Congress's demand to reserve 25 per cent seats," she told PTI.
Former MLA Shobhana George has already made it known she will contest as a rebel from Chengannur if she is not given a party ticket.
Minister for Youth and Tribal Welfare P K Jayalakshmi is the lone woman Congress MLA in this Assembly, while LDF has six women MLAs.
They are K K Lathika, P Ayisha Potty and K S Saleekha, all from the CPI-M and E S Bijimol, Geetha Gopi from the CPI and Jameela Prakasam of the JD(S).
The first Kerala Assembly, formed in 1957, had six women members when politics was a male-dominated one in the most parts of India.