Only 2 percent increase in women legislators in Bengal

Kolkata : Though the number of women contesting the 2016 West Bengal assembly polls increased to 198 as against 174 in 2011, only 40 were elected and make 13.6 percent of the members of the 294-member assembly, an increase by two percent over the last election.

In 2011, altogether 174 women had contested out of a total of 1,792 contestants, while 2016 saw as many as 198 women battle it out among 1,961 candidates. A total of 34 had won in 2011.

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This slight increase in the number translates to an increase of 2.04 percent in a span of five years and with a woman chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) heading the state government.

A majority (29) of the elected women candidates are from the ruling Trinamool Congress while the Bharatiya Janata Party has none despite fielding celebrities and actress-turned-politicians Roopa Ganguly and Locket Chatterjee.

Prominent among the Trinamool women leaders are Shashi Panja (the minister of state for women and child welfare) from Shyampukur segment and actress-turned-politician Debasree Roy, the sitting MLA from Raidighi who retained her seat.

The legislature debutantes include Baishali Dalmiya (daughter of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya) and Mahua Moitra, a former investment banker.