India’s first all-women political outfit the National Women’s Party (NWP) — will contest from nine of the 17 seats in Telangana.

The constituencies that will have NWP candidates in the state are: Adilabad, Karimnagar, Malkajgiri, Mahbubnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nizamabad, Secunderabad and Bhongir.

The party, officially launched in December last year, has been allotted gas stove as its party symbol.

“We are deciding on our candidates. The names will be announced in the next couple of days,” said Dr Shwetha Shetty, the founder of NWP. She added: “Because we are a fledging group and facing an election for the first time, we have decided to stick to four primary sections to choose our representatives – women members from other political parties who have been denied a ticket, women running NGOs, advocates and journalists.”

The Hyderabad-based medico, who practised as a general physician before taking a plunge into politics, is hopeful that by 2023 she will have a more formidable team in place.

“We have been receiving a lot of support from senior women leaders associated with major political parties, who have been side-lined by their teams. But since we are very new, they are still sceptical about joining us as they aren’t sure if we will manage to stay afloat even after the election,” Dr Shetty said reiterating her team’s motto to empower women politically, in the country.

“In Telangana, for instance, there’s not a single woman in the cabinet. Even the women and child department is represented by a male candidate. If we aren’t present in positions of power, how are we going to bring about reform that will benefit women at large,” asked the Jillelaguda resident. At present, the Parliament has only 11 per cent women representation while the average in state assemblies is an abysmal 7 to 8 per cent, Dr Shetty said.

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Todays Epaper

Which political party will form the government at Centre?

UPA (Congress)