Forget winning, women hardly contest elections here

Forget winning, women hardly contest elections here

11 women candidates for 13 Assembly elections in Chnagar district

After K S Nagarathnamma, who won seven elections and went on to becoming the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, there have hardly been any notable woman contestants in the district.

From 1952 to 2008, 13 Assembly elections have been held, and there have been just 11 women contestants in the district. The only solace is that three of them were elected as MLAs.

In 1952, there were just three Assembly constituencies in the district (then part of Mysore district). Kollegal was a two-member constituency in 1957, when Kempamma from Mamballi in Yalandur taluk was elected under Scheduled Caste reservation.

The same year Nagarathnamma made her debut as an Independent from Gundlupet constituency and was re-elected in 1962, 1967 and 1972. Her winning spree continued in 1983, 1985 and 1989. She held the post of the Speaker from 1972 to 1978.

Barring 1957, till the year 1989, Nagarathnamma was the only women contestant in the district. However things changed in the year 1994. For, five women filed nominations that year — Kempamma re-entered politics and contested from Kollegal reserved constituency on a Congress ticket and secured only 10,185 votes; Dr Girija Maheshan (BJP) and Saroja Shankar (Independent) contested from Gundlupet constituency; and Devanuru Mahadevamma and S S Malathi (both Independents) were in the fray in Santhemarali reserved constituency.

In 2004, there were three women contestants and one among them — Parimala Nagappa — won the election. While Parimala won from Hanur on a JD(S) ticket, Hemavathy (BJP) and Dr B P Manjula (Congress) unsuccessfully contested from Santhemarali and Chamarajanagar constituencies, respectively.

Parimala unsuccessfully sought re-election on a BSP ticket in 2008. Reshma Banu (Independent) and Lakshmi (SP) were also in the fray in the same constituency.
This time Parimala has re-joined JD(S) and has begun preparations for the polls from Hanur.

 A few women may contest as Independents from the remaining three constituencies, as no political party has announced that a woman would be fielded in the district.

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