21 September, 2020

Red Seats For The Ladies

The CPI-M sees virtue in woman power: 41% candidates in Calcutta civic polls is a start

Swapan Nayak
Red Seats For The Ladies
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Shipra Raha doesn't look much like a giant killer. She runs an ngo, does counselling work at a family court in Calcutta and is a vibrant member of the CPI(M) women's wing. But this May, when the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls take place, this soft-spoken schoolteacher will be up against city mayor and veteran Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee. "It's going to be very tough," says Raha, a first-time candidate. "The CPI(M)m) has had no base in this South Calcutta seat for many years. It's up to me now to build that."

You could call it the Brinda Karat effect. It may be a coincidence but ever since she got elected to the politburo, the CPI(M) has started giving more priority to women. In fact, when Left Front chairman Biman Bose unveiled the list of candidates for the KMC elections last week, it raised eyebrows everywhere: 57 women out of 138 candidates (41 per cent). "It's the highest number we've ever fielded," Bose said. "Women are more hard-working and definitely less prone to corruption, so they will probably fare better at the polls."

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