Kerala Congress Chief Dismisses Concerns Over Female Representation in Poll List, Draws Criticism

"Last time (in 2019), there were two women candidates (from Kerala)," she said
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Kannur, Kerala: The issue of inadequate female representation in the Congress party’s lineup of Lok Sabha candidates in Kerala has sparked controversy, with Congress State Chief K Sudhakaran drawing criticism for his dismissive response to concerns raised by party leader Shama Mohamed.

Ms. Mohamed, a National Spokesperson for the Congress, expressed disappointment over the party fielding only one woman candidate from Kerala for the upcoming LS polls, despite its historical association with the Women’s Reservation Bill. She highlighted that even after the bill’s recent passage in Parliament, the party failed to nominate more female candidates.

In response to media inquiries about Mohamed’s statement, K Sudhakaran swiftly brushed aside the issue, remarking, “Go and ask her. She is a nobody in the party.”

Mohamed had referenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s call for increased women’s representation in politics, urging Kerala party leaders to heed his advice.

“You should give representation to women. Last time (in 2019), there were two women candidates (from Kerala). But after the passing of the Women Reservation Bill, there is only one this time. That is my greatest disappointment,” Mohamed emphasized.

Her remarks assume significance amidst Padmaja Venugopal’s recent defection to the BJP, citing neglect by the Congress. Venugopal, the daughter of former Kerala CM K Karunakaran, accused the grand old party of disregarding her contributions.

Mohamed clarified that she was not lodging a complaint but rather advocating for increased female representation within the party. She underscored the importance of attracting women voters back to the Congress fold, suggesting that nominating more female candidates could help achieve this objective.

In contrast to the Congress, the BJP’s initial list of 12 candidates from Kerala includes three women, while the LDF’s complete list of 20 nominees features two women.

The dismissive attitude of Kerala Congress Chief Sudhakaran has drawn criticism, reigniting discussions about gender parity and representation within political parties.

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