MLC Jayamala taking oath as minister in Bengaluru | Vinod Kumar T
BENGALURU: Adding glamour to the Karnataka cabinet, actor-turned-politician Jayamala, 62, has become a minister without climbing the political ladder unlike her predecessors from the Kannada film industry.
For the first time in the history of Karnataka politics, an actor has become a Minister while other stars like Anantnag, Umashree and Kumar Bangarappa entered the government as junior ministers. The actor, now an MLC, says she has to her credit of achieving three firsts – the first MLC from Billava community after independence, the first direct entrant as Cabinet Minister from Sandalwood and she automatically becomes the floor leader in the Council. She was the lone woman to be sworn in as a minister on Wednesday. She said, “I have never coveted any post. They have recognised my talent....”
Regarding her preferences for portfolio, Jayamala said, “Excepting legal affairs ... I am prepared to head any department assigned to me. My passion is issues related to women. Even my PhD thesis was about women facing relocation because of the Almatti project.”
Political analysts say Jayamala’s straight entry may be due to the compulsions of the coalition government as she is the only representative from the Billava community and further, she hails from Dakshin Kannada. Unlike other stars, she has not been a party-hopper and remained with the Congress ever since her entry into politics. Caught in controversies as KFCC President and the issue of entering the Sabarimala shrine, Jayamala has been vocal on issues pertaining to gender, women empowerment and transgenders.