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Pradeep Pattanayak

Ever wondered why there are so many woman candidates in the fray for this ULB polls in Odisha this time as compared to the previous ones?  

The reason lies in the implementation of the new reservation rule as well as poll strategy by political parties. 

For this ULB election 50 per cent seats have been reserved for women. While political parties have fielded some women candidates, a large number of them are fighting independently.  

If the available information is anything to go by, as many as 160 female candidates are contesting from 67 Wards under Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). While some of them have been fielded by political parties, the rest are independent candidates. 

Similarly in Cuttack, 134 women candidates are in the fray and in Berhampur, 68 female candidates are trying their lucks from 42 Wards. 
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) stands out from others by fielding women in over 70 percent of total seats. 

A question arises here why the BJD opted for such a strategy? 

Political analyst Rabi Das said, “The party (BJD) has seen how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has romped home in the recently concluded Assembly elections in five states by giving importance to women and backward classes. So in order not to give any opportunity to the saffron party to repeat that strategy in Odisha, the BJD has played the trick.”

It is said that a woman’s work is never done.  And the women candidates in the fray are brimming with confidence that if they could run their houses efficiently, they can also handle politics with similar approach and acumen.

“I hope I shouldn’t face any difficulties in looking after my Ward. I have played the roles of a sister, daughter-in-law and mother perfectly. Hence, I can take care of my Ward as well,” said Prabhasini Mohanty, a BJD corporator candidate in Bhubaneswar. 

Echoing in similar lines, Swapnapriya Mallick, one of BJP’s choices for corporator post in Cuttack, said she never felt her household responsibilities a burden. “I never shied away from doing daily house chores. How can I neglect my people,” asked Mallick. 

A corporator candidate fielded by Congress for CMC, Sweta Mohanty who is a BTech in computer science, exuded confidence that she won’t face any problem in politics. “Rather, it would give me an opportunity to serve my people in a better way,” said Mohanty.

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