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Only Lip Service To Women’s Representation In I.N.D.I.A And Congress Lists

Although every political party unerringly pays lip service to representation for women and social justice for the minorities, all of them behave differently whenever real politics is concerned. For instance, they have been demanding 33% share for women in parliament and state legislatures, but they do not grant the same proportion when forming their own committees. The latest example of political doublespeak are the coordination committee of the opposition I.N.D.I.A front and the newly recast central election committee of the Congress party. While the I.N.D.I.A committee’s lone woman member is Mehbooba Mufti, the Congress election committee has only two women members, Ambika Soni and Rajya Sabha member Amee Yajnik, besides Sonia Gandhi, of course. This has hardly come as a surprise since it has remained the policy of all political parties to give weightage to the ‘ability to win’ over all other qualities of a candidate. The other highlight of both the lists is the scant representation given to the minorities. The 14-member coordination committee has three Muslim leaders – Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Jawed Ali Khan (SP). The Congress list has three minority members among the 16 names announced. They are Salman Khurshid, Mohammed Jawed and KC George. Similarly, age is another factor that has not impacted the membership of the coordination committee. The case in point is its senior most member, Sharad Pawar, was born in 1940.