Bengaluru: Once again, the Karnataka Assembly might just see only one woman minister (only five women candidates won the 2013 Assembly elections).
Former MLC Umashree, who got elected from Terdal might be the lucky one to make it to the cabinet. The likelihood of Motamma— who had served as women and child welfare minister in the S.M. Krishna Cabinet and as leader of the opposition in the Council— making it is slim, said sources.
Cine actor Umashree defeated sitting BJP MLA Siddu Savadi by 2,599 votes and will most likely become a minister as she is one of the handful of women who won this election, though 171 were in the fray.
While, the women’s representation in the House continues to be dismal, it remains to be seen what portfolio the ministerial aspirant finally bags. The last time, the highest number of women legislators became ministers, was in S.M. Krishna’s cabinet in 1999, when Motamma, Rani Satish, Suma Vasanth and Nafeeza Fazal made it to the cabinet. But going by the trend, where women legislators are always given portfolios of lesser importance, Umashree might have to settle for any portfolio handed to her.
Except for Manorama Madhwaraj, who served as Food and Civil Supplies and Large and Medium Scale Industries minister and the BJP's Shobha Karandlaje, who held the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Food and Civil Supplies and Power portfolios, all other women have been given the women and child welfare or Kannada and culture departments.
The other woman ministers who served in Karnataka include Gracy Tucker who served as Deputy minister for Education in the Nijalingappa cabinet and Leelavathi V. Magadi who was Deputy Minister for Rural Industries in the B.D. Jatti ministry.