Srinagar: Only three per cent of women candidates have been allotted tickets in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls with ruling National Conference giving maximum number of five to the fairer sex.
Among the major parties, ruling National Conference has allotted the maximum number of seats to women by nominating five women candidates, including three sitting MLAs, in the list of 84 announced by the party for the elections to the 87-member House.
However, it is still miles away from the 33 per cent reservation for women that is under consideration at the national level for several years now.
Of the five NC candidates, Social Welfare Minister Sakina Ittoo (Noorabad seat) and Chairperson of State Commission for Women Shameema Firdous (Habbakadal seat) have a good chance of winning another term in the state assembly.
However, it will not be easy for them this time. Itoo will be facing tough competition from PDP's Abdul Majid Padder. In the Lok Sabha polls, the PDP candidate had taken a slender lead over the NC candidate from the Noorabad Segment.
While Firdous did not face Ittoo's situation in the LS polls, BJP's focus on minority Kashmiri Pandit votes in the assembly polls will pose a stern test for her.
The constituency has a record of extremely low voter turn out with 11.70 per cent in 2008 Assembly polls and just 3.08 per cent in 2002 polls.
The constituency has very high percentage of migrant Kashmiri Pandit voters.
Karra, brother-in-law of Naqash, took a substantial lead against Abdullah in the LS polls this year.
National Conference has fielded Mohammad Sayeed Akhoon from the seat after denying him mandate in 2008 elections in favour of Farooq Abdullah and later his younger brother Mustafa Kamal when by-elections were necessitated due to party president's election to Lok Sabha in 2009.
BJP has also fielded one woman candidate in Hina Bhat from Amira Kadal constituency. Bhat, daughter of former NC leader Mohammad Shafi Bhat, is locked in a triangular contest with sitting NC MLA Nasir Aslam Wani and PDP candidate Altaf Bukhari.
While she jumped into politics on the back of her father's political career, Bhat will be hoping the BJP mandate would translate into migrant Kashmiri pandit votes at the hustings.
The BJP candidate's father represented the Amira Kadal constituency in 1996 on NC ticket but won on Congress ticket in 2002 after the regional party denied him mandate.
Amira Kadal, which has significant number of migrant voters, is also a low voter turn out constituency having almost similar numbers like Habba Kadal in the last two assembly polls.