Shimla: Only one woman — Nisha Katoch — is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Himachal Pradesh, even when women account for 49 per cent of the electorate in the state and, according to a senior official, are more “proactive” when it comes to voting.
Katoch, 37, is the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha nominee for the Kangra parliamentary seat. She runs a travel agency in Dharamsala and her husband is a transporter.
The two main parties — the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — have not fielded a single woman candidate this time. In the state, 55 candidates are in the fray.
While the BJP has never nominated a woman candidate in Himachal, which achieved statehood in 1971, the Congress gave ticket in the Lok Sabha elections to Chandresh Kumari from the Kangra seat (1984 and 1989) and Pratibha Singh from the Mandi constituency (1998, 2004, 2013 by-election and 2014).
Chandresh Kumari was elected in 1984 and Pratibha Singh in 2004 and 2013.