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Women get raw deal from parties in TN

April 22, 2009 12:35 IST

Women voters could be a decisive factor in sealing the fate of candidates in 14 of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu, where they outnumber men, but the fair sex is a forgotten lot when it comes to fielding them as nominees.

Notwithstanding their oft-repeated promise to give fair representation to women, major political parties have backtracked on it when it came to the crunch.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has named only two women in its list of candidates -- Gayathri Sridharan (Tiruvallur) and Helan Davidson (Kanyakumari). Its arch rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam headed by Jayalalithaa has fielded also two women -- Cynthiya Pandiyan (Tuticorin) and Vairam Tamizharasu (Namakkal).

The Congress has named one woman, Charubala Thondaiman, a descendant of rulers of the erstwhile princely state of Pudukottai, who would clash with Lalithaa Kumaramangalam of the BJP, who is from the family of Kumaramangalam 'zamin' at Tiruchirapalli, where women outnumber men.

Besides Kumaramangalam, the BJP has fielded another woman Tamizhisai Sounderrajan from north Chennai.

Sivaganga, from where Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is contesting, tops the list of constituencies with higher number of women voters than their male counterparts. Men voters there are outnumbered by more than 24,000.

More than 10 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes for the Sivaganga seat which would go to polls on May 13 with 38 other seasts in the state.

Women electorate also promise to be a decisive factor in Madurai where DMK strongman and its high-profile candidate M K Azhagiri, son of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, is contesting.

However, a mere 12 women outnumber men at the Temple town where P Mohan of the CPI-M, which is in the AIADMK-led front, is testing his fortunes.

As many as 10.18 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes to give their mandate in Madurai, which also has the DMDK, led by actor Vijayakant, in the fray.

Virudunagar, where MDMK chief Vaiko is contesting, has more number of women voters. Further, two Tamil film actors, both from DMK, are banking on women voters to enter the Lok Sabha for the first time by using their tinsel world charm.

Actor D Napolean (Perambalur) and JK Ritheesh (Ramanathapuram) are trying to exploit their onscreen image to garner votes among the predominant women electorate in the two constituencies.

Out of the total 10.44 lakh voters in Perambalur, presently represented by Union Minister A Raja, women voters constitute more than 5.27 lakh while there are 5.72 lakh women voters in Ramanathapuram.

Among others, women voters outnumber men in the constituencies of Tuticorin, Tenkasi,Vellore, Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Karur, Tanjavur, and Virudhunagar.

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