Only 15 (8.6 per cent) women candidates of the total of 173 nominees of various political parties would try their electoral fortune in the 38 of the 60 seats in the first phase of Manipur assembly elections on February 28, election officials said on Sunday.
The official said that in the second phase of the elections on March 5 in the remaining 22 seats, only two female candidates — Y Romita of the CPI (Kakching seat) and S.S. Olish of BJP (Chandel seat) filed their candidature.
The scrutiny of the nominations in these 22 seats would be done on Monday.
Among the 15 female candidates, Nemcha Kipgen of the BJP is the only sitting MLA.
She is contesting in the Kangpokpi seat. The 15 women candidates include four from the Congress, three belonging to National People’s Party, two each from the ruling BJP and the Nationalist Congress Party, one each from the Janata Dal-United and a local party and two are independent aspirants.
In the 2017 assembly polls, nine women candidates had contested the elections and only two (3.4 per cent) women were elected to the 60-member assembly.
Although the number of female voters exceeds male voters, women have negligible representation in the state political affairs.
Like many previous elections, 10,49,639 women voters outnumbered the male electorates of 9,85,119 in Manipur this time.
According to the final electoral rolls published last month, the total number of electorates rose to 20.34.966 with 208 third gender voters.
The elections to the 60-seat Manipur assembly would be held in two phases on February 28 and March 5. The counting of votes would take place on March 10.