BJP’s Shantha is sole woman to win from Karnataka

May 16th, 2009 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, May 16 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) J. Shantha is the lone woman to win from Karnataka, with the other three known women candidates, including Margaret Alva, tasting defeat in the Lok Sabha elections the results of which were announced Saturday.
Apart from the Congress’ Alva, Tejaswini Gowda of the party also lost, as also Radha Sundaresh of the Communist Party of India (CPI). Altogether 29 women candidates contested for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.

Shantha, a homemaker-turned-politician, won from Bellary. She will be the lone woman representative from Karnataka in the new Lok Sabha.

Celebrating her win at Bellary, an elated Shantha told IANS: “I am happy that I will be able to represent Bellary. My main aim will be to improve the overall condition of women in Karnataka.”

Asked why the state shied away from fielding more women candidates, Shantha said that parties had to think on the issue seriously to help the cause of women’s empowerment in the state.

“More women representatives from the state means more work towards development of women causes. But this could happen only when parties field more and more women candidates,” she added.

Shantha defeated her nearest rival, Congress veteran and former chief justice of Orissa High Court N.Y. Hanumanthappa of Congress by 2,243 votes.

A senior congress woman leader, who did not wish to be named, welcomed Shantha’s win, saying: “Hopefully Shantha will work for overall development of women of the state.”

A total of 427 candidates were in the fray in Karnataka.

Alva was defeated by nearest BJP rival Anantkumar Hedge in Uttara Kannada by 22,769 votes.

Tejaswini Gowda came third in Rural Bangalore constituency where former chief minister of Karnataka H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is also Janata Dal-Secular president, won by a margin of 130,275 from his nearest BJP rival C.P. Yogeeshwara.

Radha Sundaresh came third in Dakshina Kannada. Nalin Kumar of BJP won the seat from his nearest Congress rival Janardhana Poojary by 40,420 votes.

Of the estimated 40.11 million voters in the state, 24.44 million cast their ballots in both the phases, April 23 and 30.

Women politicians feel that the women candidates did not receive much support from their respective parties.

“Shantha was comparatively lucky. Her brother B. Sriramulu, health and family welfare minister in the BJP government, worked hard to ensure her win,” said a senior woman member of BJP on condition of anonymity.

Sriramulu enjoys huge clout in the government and the party because he is a close aide of mining barons of Bellary district, G. Janaradhana Reddy and his brother G. Karunakara Reddy, both of whom are also ministers.

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