Why women hold the key to how well Modi fares in this election

Female participation in India’s elections has risen over the years, something parties can’t ignore.

Women queueing to cast their votes at a polling station in the southern Indian state of Telangana on May 13. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Leena Sarma, a senior Indian Railways official, recounts an overnight train journey in the summer of 1990 with two politicians from Gujarat state. 

After a harrowing journey through Uttar Pradesh state the previous day, made worrisome for her and a fellow probationer because thuggish elements accompanying a few politicians had made them vacate their reserved seats, they had entered the train to take them from New Delhi to Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s main city, with great trepidation. This time, they did not even have confirmed seats.

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