If you mention the women MPs at a tea shop in Mohanlalganj city of Uttar Pradesh, then Rina comes to Chaudhary after roaming around.
Lok Sabha reached this seat in 1998 and 1999. But before that he did not even contest assembly, district level election.
While taking tea, Ashram recalls that Reena Chaudhary was only 27 years old when he first heard his speech.
He says, “I still remember, I was in college then, he had come on a sociable sitage and could not say anything properly, but people liked him warmly.”
Reena Choudhary is not alone. Apart from them, seven more women have won from Mohanlalganj at different times.
Mohanlalganj is a well-publicized rural Lok Sabha seat, adjacent to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Here women mostly do farming or wages.
They are not employed nor do college students in large numbers.
Yet this is the seat where the maximum number of women parliamentarians won eight of the 16 Lok Sabha elections so far in the country.
This is very important because even today, nearly half of the 543 seats are in the Lok Sabha, from which there has been no women MP ever been elected.
So why Mohanlalanganj chose women eight times?
Reena Chaudhary has won the Lok Sabha election twice from Mohanlalanganj.
Although, Lok Sabha seats in Panskura and Indore have also elected women MPs eight times, but this time Gita Mukherjee and Sumitra Mahajan were elected.
Apart from these, Mohanlalanganj chose such women who were not well known, although they kept their relationship with the affluent families.
Reena’s father was a government officer and ‘Netaji’ was well-known to Mulayam Singh Yadav. According to Reena, MA, LLB, when he was given the ticket, he had no idea that he would win and the Samajwadi Party would be captured in this seat.
Perhaps, Renee’s victory in the first was a fullman of Purvima Verma who had been a member of Bharatiya Janata Party before him.
When the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1993, Purnima, who came to politics, became a Member of Parliament in 1996. It gives great credit to the so-called upper caste women of the region.
Purnima says, “In those times, these women wanted to be a part of politics, but no one would take away their votes from their house, I went from house to house and appealed to their families to take them to vote.”
The selection of women MPs started in 1962, when the Ganga Devi won by the third Lok Sabha. Then it was the Congress party’s stronghold.
Ganga Devi won three times and after that the Kailashapati of the Congress was elected in 1980 only once.
After this, three Lok Sabha seats were won by the people, but the seats switched from the Congress to the Janata Party and then the Bharatiya Janata Party.
According to local journalist Akhilesh Dwivedi in the Hindustan newspaper, once again when elected as MP from Mohanlalganj, in 1996, there was a wave of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Says Dwivedi: “In UP, there is a more important caste and party than a leader. These women have also benefited from getting to the ground at the right time.”
Talk of Full Moon Verma, MP from Mohanlalganj
Mohanlalanganj seat is reserved for Scheduled Castes. According to Purnima Verma, Rina Chaudhary and Sushila Saroj of Samajwadi Party, who have won Mohanlalganj after them and after them, have got the benefit.
She says, “The number of female leaders emerging from the Scheduled Castes is very small, in such a way, when the party gives us the ticket, a very good message goes.”
But the way forward for winning party tickets and winning women’s elections is not that easy.
According to Reena Chaudhary, even after being elected twice MP, her party did not take the ticket for the third time, due to which she left the party.
Their allegation is, “I had started taking decisions by listening to their problems by going among the people, the men in lower positions in Omar, have conspired and deleted me.”
Reena Chowdhary’s power came out again in the hands of a man and in 2009 again she returned to a woman.
Sushila Saroj, MP from the parliament of Egypt, was elected MP from Mohanlalganj seat.
Sushila, who has been the president of the party’s women for a long time, has also been a legislator in Uttar Pradesh.
In the last Lok Sabha elections when the Bharatiya Janata Party government was formed in the country, Mohanlalganj’s seat in the same ‘wave’ also went to a man from the same party.
Mohanlalanganj Lok Sabha constituency, which has 18 lakh voters, has five assembly constituencies. The biggest part of the employment comes from farming.
There are 906 girls compared to every 1000 boys in the national average (1000: 943).
Read yesterday to know how many women’s lives have changed their lives. # 100Women in politics and women’s second episode of this special series