Mumbai: For the first time, the 17th Lok Sabha will have a record 8 lady members from various parties in Maharashtra, in an indicator of growing women`s empowerment.
Among the 71 women MPs elected from all over India, the Maharashtra contingent will account for around 10 per cent of all the lady representatives in the country`s highest law-making institution.
In fact, for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, there were a total of 80 women candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, of whom 8 have been elected.
The 8 women MPs are: Poonam Mahajan (Mumbai North-Central), Heena Gavit (Nandurbar), Pritam Munde (Beed), Bharti Pawar (Dindori) and Raksha Khadse (Jalgaon), all from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena`s Bhavana Gawali-Patil (Yavatmal-Washim), Nationalist Congress Party`s Supriya Sule-Pawar (Baramati) and Yuva Swabhiman Party`s Navneet Kaur Rana (Amravati).
While one among them, Navneet Rana, is a well-known actress with several films in south Indian languages to her credit, three are medicos -- Heena Gavit, Bharti Pawar and Pritam Munde. Poonam Mahajan is a businesswoman, while Bhavana Gawali-Patil is an educationist.
Three among them hail from important political families in the state -- Supriya Sule-Pawar is the only daughter NCP President Sharad Pawar, Poonam Mahajan is the daughter of former Union Minister, the late Pramod Mahajan, and her cousin Pritam Munde is the daughter of former Union Minister, the late Gopinath Munde.
With six women getting elected from the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a couple of them are likely to be rewarded with ministerial berths in the next government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Interestingly, two of them -- Poonam Mahajan and Supriya Sule-Pawar -- had fought only women-to-women contests and defeated their rivals, Priya Dutt of the Congress and Kanchal Kul of the BJP, respectively.
Navneet Kaur Rana is married to Ravi Rana -- an Independent legislator from Badnera in Amravati district and the nephew of yoga guru Ramdev -- in a mass-marriage ceremony in 2011 along with 3,100 other couples.
In the past, Maharashtra`s women power in the Lok Sabha was an average 3 members per term. The break-up: 1952 (4), 1957, 1962, 1967 (3 each), 1971 (2), 1977 (3), 1980, 1984 (4 each), 1989, 1991 (3 each), 1996, 1998 (2 each), 1999 (3), 2004 (6), 2009 (3), 2014 (6), 2019 (8).