Geetha is 4th woman to contest for Gundlupet MLA seat

Only three women have entered the fray in the last six decades

Gundlupet Assembly constituency, which has witnessed 14 elections in over six decades since the first election in 1957, has seen only three women contestants so far. It is however, the women contestants who have seen more victories as compared to their male counterparts.

The bypoll for the constituency has been necessitated after Cooperation and Sugar Minister H S Mahadev Prasad died of cardiac arrest on January 3.

Gundlupet was a dual-member constituency in the first election in 1952. Since its formation as a single constituency in 1957 till 2013, it has seen more number of male contestants. Women contestants have however, fared better than their male counterparts. K S Nagarathnamma had a stronghold on the constituency for three and a half decades. Till now, no other contestant has been able to break her record. Moreover, Nagarathnamma was the state’s first woman Speaker.

Nagarathnamma jumped into the fray during the second polls for the constituency and represented it seven times. In all, 69 candidates have contested from Gundlupet from 1952 to 2013. Of them, only three are women including Nagarathnamma. In 1994, two women contested from the constituency. They were Dr Girija Maheshan and Saroja Shankar. Girija, a BJP candidate could garner 4,206 votes while Saroja, an Independent, got only 121 votes.

After this, no woman came forward to contest from the constituency. After a hiatus, Geetha Mahadev Prasad, wife of late minister Mahadev Prasad, is now entering the fray on  Congress ticket. She is the fourth woman testing her luck in the bypolls. Besides, Gundlupet has been represented by only three persons, the third being H K Shivarudrappa, who won the 1978 election as an Independent.

The last date for filing nominations for the election is March 21.

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