56 out of 626 candidates in Bihar were women; NDA, grand alliance fielded 9

JD(U)’s Kavita Singh | Photo: Satyavrat Mishra

The ruling NDA and the opposition grand alliance in Bihar had fielded women in less than a quarter of the total number of 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state and out of them, only three emerged victorious.

The three National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents BJP, JD(U) and LJP had put up one woman candidate each and all of them won.

BJPs Rama Devi retained Sheohar while JD(U) MLA Kavita Singh and LJPs Veena Devi made successful debuts from Siwan and Vaishali respectively.

None of the women candidates put up by the grand alliance or the 'mahagathbandhan', comprising the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and other smaller parties, could register victory.

Sitting MP Ranjeet Ranjan of the Congress lost her Supaul seat to the JD(U) while Neelam Devi, fielded by the grand old party from Munger, was defeated by JD(U)'s Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan, a powerful minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet.

Other prominent women candidates who were in the fray included Congress's Meira Kumar (Sasaram), RJD's Heena Shahab (Siwan), Vibha Devi (Nawada) and Misa Bharti (Pataliputra).

Yet another prominent woman candidate was Putul Kumari Singh, mother of ace shooter Shreyasi Singh, who stood from Banka as an independent candidate. She had won the seat in a by-election in 2010, necessitated by the death of her husband Digivijay Singh. However, she had lost in 2014 when she was fielded by the BJP.

Altogether 626 candidates, out of whom only 56 were women, had contested this time from 40 seats across the state.

Siwan had the maximum number of four women candidates and in each of 16 other constituencies, more than one woman were in the fray.

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