BANGALORE: The state may have 28 Lok Sabha seats but just one constituency elected a woman representative on Friday.
Shobha Kharandlaje of the BJP is the woman candidate who triumphed from the Udupi-Chikkamagalur constituency. She got 5,81,168 votes, as against 3,99,525 for her Congress opponent Jayaprakash Hegde.
This year, 21 women candidates were in fray — of a total of 434 across the state. This included Ruth Manorama (Bangalore South) and Nandini Alva (Bangalore Central) of the JD(S), Nina Nayak (Bangalore South) and Lalitha Naik (Gulbarga) of the Aam Aadmi Party and Lakshmi Nimbalkar (Belgaum) of the Congress. Sadly, this is a common trend in the state, which has elected just a handful of women MPs through the years.
The first woman MP from the state was Sarojini Mahishi, who triumphed from Dharward constituency four times between 1962 and 1980.
In 1980, 1984 and 1991, D K Taradevi of the Congress won from Chikmagalur constituency.In 1984, 1989 and 1991, the Bellary seat was won by Basavarajeshwari, again of the Congress. Interestingly, in 1999, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had contested and won from Bellary and Margaret Alva of the Congress had won from Uttara Kannada.
In 2004, Tejaswini Sriramesh of the Congress won from Bangalore Rural and Manorama Madhwaraj of the BJP won from Udupi. In the last general elections, BJP candidate J Shantha won from Bellary constituency.