HAMIRPUR: Women from the districts of Hamirpur and Kangra are to play a major role in the state assembly elections slated for December 19. Women outnumber men not only in population but also in the number of voters.
There are 10,78,888 voters in the Kangra district out of which there are 5,39,792 women and 5,39,096 men.
Similarly, in Hamirpur district, the total number of women voters are 1,80,765 as against 1,74,335 men voters. Hamirpur tops in the state in field of constant growth of the female population.
Women have played their main role during the elections since year 1977. They are mainly responsible for the formation of successive governments thanks to their liking and disliking for the parties and candidates. They always preferred the party that worked for them and rejected others.
While in 1998 elections, the women outrightly rejected the Congress and helped the BJP to for its government with the help of Himachal Vikas Congress,and then it rejected the BJP in 2003 elections due to its anti women stance.
The women taught a teething lesson to the Congress in the bye election to Hamirpur Lok sbaha seat in June 2007. There was heavy rush of women voters on almost all the polling stations of Hamirpur Lok sabha seat comprising of the districts of Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur and Dehra revenue sub division of the Kangra districts and they voted enmasse for the victory of BJP candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal by a margins of 80,059 votes.
Political pundits feel that the women had a grouse against the Congress for price rise of essential commodities and other items, worsening of law and order in the state and non provision of employment to their wards by the Congress government in the state and that helped the BJP to get sympathy from the women.
And then liquor lobby which is strongest in Himachal and grown manyfolds in recent times, is also one of resentments among women voters. As every nook and corner of Himachal has a liquor vend and men folks are destroying family as well as their careers.
Almost same thing prevails in the state in general and in the districts of Hamirpur and Kangra where there are twenty-one assembly seats out of sixty-eight seats of the house.
It is worth mentioning here that the state government has given a major role to women in the panchayati raj institutions of the state. 33% posts of panches, up-pradhans, pradhans, panchayat samiti and zila samiti members are filled from amongst women. Similarly, they are also given 33% reservations in the posts of Chairpersons of all such institutions and the women have performed their duties remarkably, admits Anita Verma, Congress MLA and Urmila Thakur, former BJP MLA, both from Hamirpur seat.
Both these lady leaders are once again trying to get nomination of their respective parties from Hamirpur assembly seat this time too to enter the state assembly.