Proportional representation for women during selection of candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha is a far cry. The Telugu Desam successfully fielded three women candidates in the 1989 elections.

Women voters may outnumber men in the district, but proportional representation for women during selection of candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections remains a far cry.

The district has a chequered history of electing capable women, with some of them stepping into the shoes of their illustrious father/husbands.

The fourth A.P. Assembly made history, as two women MLAs were from the district. Doddapaneni Indira (Congress) stepped into the shoes of her father, Alapati Venkatramaiah, by winning the general elections from Tenali in 1967. Jayaprada Bhavanam (Congress), wife of former Chief Minister Bhavanam Venkatarami Reddy, won from Vinukonda.

In the 1972 elections, four women MLAs stepped into the hallowed portals of the Assembly. Apart from D. Indira (Tenali) and B. Jayaprada (Vinukonda), Fathimunnisa Begum (Pedakurapadu) and Vijaya Ramanujam (Guntur-1) were elected.

Since then, only three women MLAs have been elected in three successive elections in 1978, 1983 and 1985. D. Indira contested as a Janata Party candidate in 1978 and ensured a hat-trick. She contested on Congress ticket in 1983 but lost the election, as N.T. Rama Rao broke the Congress bastion.

Nannapaneni Rajakumari (TDP) won from Sattenapalli in 1983 and Evuru Seetharavamma (TDP) won from the Kuchinapudi segment in 1985.

The Telugu Desam successfully fielded three women candidates in the 1989 elections. N. Rajakumari (Vinukonda), Evuru Seetharavamma (Kuchinapudi) and Kandimalla Jayamma (Chilakaluripet) got the better of their male opponents at the hustings.

Ms. Seetharavamma completed a hat-trick of wins in 1994. Puthubaka Bharathi won on CPI (M) ticket from Sattenapalli in 1994.

In the 1999 elections, the TDP allotted four seats to women and the Congress, one. S. Aruna (TDP) won from Guntur -2, defeating Eswara Venkata Bharathi of the Congress. Gogineni Uma (Tenali) and Julakanti Durgamba (Macherla) beat their rivals.

Since then, the TDP had allotted just one seat in Vinukonda in 2004. The Congress fielded Daggubati Purandheswari, daughter of N.T. Rama Rao against Daggubati Rama Naidu, and in 2007, made Kuchipudi Vijaya the Chairperson of Zilla Parishat in 2006.

In 2009, the TDP could not allot even a single seat to women, while Congress bet big on women by allotting three Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat.

Post-delimitation in 2009, the number of Assembly segments was reduced to 17. The Congress bet big on women being allotted Lok Sabha segments - Panabaka Lakshmi-Bapatla (SC) - and three Assembly segments - Kandru Kamala (Mangalagiri), M. Sucharita (Prathipadu - SC) and Noorjahan (Pedakurapadu). Except for Pedakurpadu, all the three candidates had won.

The TDP tried to salvage some pride by nominating N. Rajakumari as MLC.

In the run-up to the 2014 elections, the TDP is still in a bind to allot seats to women. It is considering fielding Kuchipudi Vijaya in Bapatla (SC) for the Lok Sabha. The YSRC had firmed up two seats, M. Sucharita (Prathipadu -SC) and Nannapeneni Sudha (Vinukonda). The Congress has finalised Panabaka Lakshmi (Bapatla - Lok Sabha) and Kandru Kamala for Mangalagiri.

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