Women MPs dwindle in AP
Women representation in the 12th Lok Sabha from Andhra Pradesh has dwindled though women voters outnumber their male counterparts in the polls.
In the 11th Lok Sabha, there were three women representatives, including national award-winning actress Tadaparthi Sarada who was elected on a Telugu Desam ticket from Tenali. She, however, lost to former Kerala governor P Shiv Shanker in the current election.
Industrialist and liquor baron Magunta Subbarami Reddy's widow Parvathamma, who was elected from Ongole as the Congress candidate in 1996, opted out of the race. Her brother-in-law Magunta Srinvasul Reddy has been elected from the constituency.
Only the Congress's Panabaka Lakshmi was re-elected from Nellore (reserved) constituency.
Joining her will be the TDP's Dr M Suguna Kumari, a professional who returned from the US to defeat former Union minister G Venkataswamy in Pedapalli.
In the 1996 election, 90 women contested the poll. But only three of them -- two Congress and one TDP candidate -- were elected while 82 of them forfeited their deposits.
In that year, Andhra Pradesh had the largest number of women contestants in the country after Uttar Pradesh, where 107 candidates had joined the fray. Nine had made it to the Lok Sabha from UP.
Even though all the political parties are committed to one-third reservation for women in Parliament and the state legislatures, only 13 women contested from AP this year -- three from the Congress, two each from the TDP and the Bharatiya Janata Party and one from the Bahujan Samaj Party besides five Independents.
While Sarada and former Union deputy minister K Kamala Kumari lost with grace, nine other women lost their deposits.
In the 11th Lok Sabha election, there were 599 women contestants. Thirtynine of them were elected while 518 lost their deposits. The President also nominated a woman taking their tally to 40 -- four less than their number in the eighth Lok Sabha.
The lowest representation of women was in the sixth
Lok Sabha which had only 19 members.
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