Women were poorly represented in India’s youngest state during its first Legislative Assembly, and the situation has only worsened in Telangana in 2018. The representation of women in the 119-member Telangana Assembly has dropped to 5% from 7.5%, as only six women have made it to the Assembly in the elections held on December 7. All six of them are from the two major political parties – TRS and Congress.
There were nine women in the previous Assembly that was dissolved by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao – and none of them made it to Telangana’s first cabinet.
136 women contested the 2018 polls, as opposed to 85 in 2014, according to the Association of Democratic Reforms. Not more than 51 tickets were given from major parties to women in these elections. In fact, the winning TRS gave tickets to just four women this time around, three of whom won. Former Deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy, Ajmera Rekha and G Sunitha Reddy retained their seats.
Congress had fielded 11 women candidates, three of whom won. Anasuya Dansari defeated minister Azmeera Chandulal from Mulug constituency (ST), Banoth Haripriya was elected from Yellandu and Former Home Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh Sabitha Indra Reddy was elected from Maheshwaram.
The eight other women fielded by the party, including former Ministers J Geetha Reddy from Zahirabad, DK Aruna from Gadwal, Sunitha Laxma Reddy from Narsapur and Konda Surekha from Parkal were defeated.
Telugu Desam Party founder NT Rama Rao's granddaughter Nandamuri Suhasini, who contested from Kukatpally, was also defeated.
This, despite there being more women voters in some crucial constituencies in the state. According to the final electoral rolls released by the Election Commission, female voters outnumber male ones in many constituencies such as Sircilla (where KCR’s son and former Minister KT Rama Rao contested from), Siddipet (KCR’s nephew and minister Harish Rao’s constituency) and Huzurnagar (where Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Uttam Kumar Reddy contested from).
With IANS inputs