When the 17th Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly convenes, there will be a record 38 women MLAs in attendance, the highest since Independence. The stellar result came despite political parties giving tickets to only 96 women candidates.
BJP gave tickets to 43 women, the highest among all the parties. Of these, 32 won. From BSP and Congress, two women won, while one each from the Samajwadi Party and Apna Dal were also elected.
According to records available with the Election Commission, in the first UP assembly election after Independence, held in 1952, 20 women were elected. The strength of women in the assembly has fluctuated in the elections ever since. The next major milestone was in 1985, when 31 women were elected. However, in 1989, the number fell to 18, while only 10 women were elected in 1991. In 1993, 14 women MLAs were elected, a number which steadily increased to 20 in 1996 and 26 in 2002. In 2007, however, the number fell to a mere three women MLAs, but in 2012 a record 35 were elected. This number has gone up this year to 38.