Even as the Women's Reservation Bill remains a political hot potato, Bangalore's electorate has elected 69 women to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) against the 67 seats reserved for women.
Congress's K. Poornima put it across her male rival in Basavanapura general wards while Rekha of the BJP emerged victorious in Chalavadipalya against D. Srinivasan of Congress.
Syed Haseena Taj, who contested from Mangammanapalya, became the first Muslim candidate from the BJP to win a seat by securing 11,428 votes. On the other hand, Farida, an independent candidate, won the Shivajinagar seat. Former deputy mayor N. Shanthakumari from the BJP was re-elected from Moodalapalya ward.
Among the high-profile candidates who missed the bus were two-time corporators G. Padmavathy, Mangala Sridhar and Marimuthu. Ms. Sridhar, State BJP vice-president who contested from Byatarayanapura ward, said she accepted people's verdict but blamed the poor voter turnout, especially from the educated class.
“I don't have any relatives in politics. I stood for elections on my own capacity. I don't know backdoor politics. So I don't consider this as my loss or their victory,” she said. She did not, however, rule out contesting in future.
Ms. Marimuthu too seemed to be optimistic despite losing the Sagaypuram seat. “I will contest the MLA and MP elections,” she said.
Allegations and counter-allegations followed defeats. Another two-time corporator, G. Padmavathy of the Congress, lost her hold on Prakashnagar ward. “People failed to remember the service I have done for this ward. They have fallen prey to bribery. The BJP bought votes and indulged in other malpractices to win this seat,” she said.
While the results have been encouraging for women, less than half of the BBMP Council will be represented by them.
A trend that has met with severe criticism is that a sizeable number of women candidates have been fielded by their male politician relatives, leading to the perception that they are mere rubber stamps.