GUWAHATI: Women voters in the four constituencies of Kamrup (Metro) district feel the rise in the prices of essentials, especially LPG cylinders, could weigh heavy on their minds when they go to vote. The women voters expect the new government to urgently address the issue of price rise.
“The government has taken many steps for the welfare of women. But the main issues are price hike of essential commodities and LPG cylinders. People suffered a lot, especially in the post-Covid period, because of uncontrolled price rise of vegetables, potatoes and onions. However, the prices of essential commodities have gone down marginally. LPG cylinder prices were hiked four times since February. How do the poor survive?” asked Ramila Das, a 49-year-old resident of Gauhati East constituency.
Das, who has been working as a domestic helper since 1994, wants a people-friendly government. “We are not concerned about who forms the government. We want them to address our problems,” she said.
Mainu Basumatary, a resident of Gauhati West constituency, also feels that price hike will be a key issue for a large section of women voters and this could make a difference. “Women run homes and know best how difficult it is to manage the household budget when prices are soaring. They will definitely keep price rise in mind when they go to vote,” said Basumatary.
She works in a private company and also felt that unemployment is a big issue for young voters. She added that women’s representation is very poor in the government and this should change. “There should be more women in Parliament and in the assembly. They can raise our issues and find solutions. But somehow, political parties are not fielding enough women,” she rued.
The ruling BJP has not fielded any woman candidate in any of the four constituencies that fall under Kamrup (Metro) district. The Congress has fielded Ashima Bordoloi in Gauhati East constituency against BJP candidate Siddhartha Bhattacharya, who is a sitting MLA from the constituency and a cabinet minister.
Of the total 11.37 lakh voters this time in the district, 5.73 lakh are women voters, which is 50.4% of the total voters. All the four constituencies have women voters over 50%. The percentage of women voters in Jalukbari is 50.6, 50.21 in Dispur, 50.39 in Gauhati East and 50.48 in Gauhati West.
Out of the four assembly constituencies, 2.04 lakh out of 4.06 are women voters in Dispur followed by 1.47 lakh out of 2.92 lakh in Gauhati West, 1.19 lakh out of 2.36 lakh in Gauhati East and 1.02 lakh out of 2.02 lakh voters are women in Jalukbari constituency.