Worried over the 22-year delay in implementing the 33 per cent reservation for women, a group of social activists from Telangana formed a political party exclusively for women’s rights. Named National Women’s Party (NWP), a party of mothers, it will contest 272 Lok Sabha seats — half of the total seats — in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Though the party is dedicated to women, donations will be taken from men who support the ideology of the party that Parliament and Assemblies should have 50 per cent women participation. The party will also consider enrolling men after ensuring that more than 50 per cent of the office-bearers are women.
Swetha Shetty, a medical professional and chief of the party, told reporters here on Tuesday that the forming of NWP is a “historic” step in a mission to “guarantee equal representation in Parliament”. She said her party will particularly represent underprivileged women and end “husband raj ” in local self-governments, Assemblies and Parliament.
“The motive is is to get 50 per cent reservation for women candidates in Lok Sabha election. Even in 2018, women rights are easily avoided and there is crime against women. No significant reformations are being considered so far, hence she felt the need for a women’s party,” she said.
Talking to BusinessLine , she said the party has requested the Election Commission to provide cylinder, bangles or stove as the party symbol for the upcoming polls. “There are only 11 per cent of the women in Parliament. We have the right for 50 per cent representation. We will fight for it,” she said. “We have taken the first step,” she added.
The NWP will also ally with parties who will support the idea of 50 per cent reservation. Shweta Shetty said she is looking for funds from dedicated women who are working for social cause. “We are not commercialising this. Women are coming forward to help us. Some men who share our ideology are also helping us,” she added.
“NWP has the support from 1.45 lakh women members of Telangana Mahila Samiti and the numbers are persistently increasing across India,” a release from the party said.