The women apparently got a raw deal in the jumbo committee announced by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Urban unit. Not more than a dozen women got a berth in the newly announced committee comprising of 150 members. Just two more women were inducted into the committee if the past committee (close to 120 members) were to be compared.
At a time when the Telugu Desam leaders were making tall claims of women reservation, the meagre representation of the women in new committee has failed to send positive signals.
The committee had just 10 women leaders when Vallabhaneni Vamsi was TDP Urban president.
Now, the strength rose to 12. Of this, none of the prominent posts, except a vice-president, were earmarked for the women. This year, one more woman got a chance to work as executive secretary compared to last committee.
The committee has least representation of women of two members from Vijayawada (East) constituency. The TDP Urban unit has active membership of about 25,000. Of this, nearly 4,500 would be women. The Telugu Desam, however, finds it difficult to have adequate representation of women in the committee.
In fact, the women workers were up in arms against the leadership for various reasons including the dropping of active worker like Mukkanti Narayanamma from the committee.
The Urban leaders, sources say, were considering names of former corporators like Koneru Rama Devi, wife of TDP Urban treasurer Koneru Sridhar; Gogineni Sujatha, wife of Gogineni Dhanasekhar, TDP Urban secretary; and Chennupati Usha Rani. Of the three, Ms. Sujatha is stated to have expressed disinterest on health grounds. Dropping of Ms. Narayanamma from the committee, sources say, is due to stiff opposition from the Vijayawada East, West and Central incharges. Ms. Narayanamma, Telugu Mahila Urban president, is serving the party since 1980s. The decision could become a boomerang, a leader said, as she gathers women in impressive numbers for any of the party programmes.