Millennium Post

Chhattisgarh poll: Sarangarh seat, citadel of woman power

Keeping in mind the previous equations, the three major parties - BJP, Congress and BSP - have fielded women candidates from the seat for this month’s polls.

Since the formation of the state in 2000, the voters from the region have always shown faith in women candidates and elected them in consecutive 2003 and 2008 elections.

BSP’s Kamda Jolhe had won the 2003 election from this SC reserved seat while Congress candidate Padma Manhar registered victory in 2008.

Hoping for a triumphant come back, the Congress has retained Padma Manhar from the seat for the November 19 polls while BSP has given another chance to Kamda, who had lost the previous election.

Even the ruling BJP did not take risk by fielding a male contender from the seat like earlier and has given ticket to a new face - Kera Bai Manhar.

Sarangarh assembly constituency has 2,22,968 voters, of which 1,09,771 are female and 1,13,197 are male.

A total of 309 polling booths have been set up in the constituency, going to polls in the second phase of state Assembly elections.

Interestingly, Sarangarh region has a history of producing women political leaders. Nanhu Dai Chouhan was the first dalit woman to win Sarangarh Assembly seat in the erstwhile Madhya Pradesh in 1957 and later she was re-elected in 1962 from the same seat.

Women of erstwhile royal tribal family of Sarangarh had also been successful in the politics.
In 1969, Rani Lalita Devi of the royal family was elected unopposed from neighbouring Pusaur region in Raigarh.

Likewise, Rajkumari Rajnigandha was the first woman to become a Lok Sabha member from Raigarh seat in 1967.

Another royal family member Kamla Devi Singh was five times MLA from 1972 to 1990 from Sariya seat of Raigarh. She was also a Cabinet minister during Congress government in erstwhile MP.

Similarly, Pushpa Devi Singh was three times Lok Sabha MP (1980, 1985 and 1991) from Raigarh constituency.
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