They may have entered politics by default but several years later it still continues to keep them intrigued, engaged and even addicted. “Even being in the opposition is so intriguing,” said Poongothai Aladi Aruna, former DMK minister, when asked to share her experiences as a politician. “It is extremely interesting since I have met a gamut of people,” observed Lalitha Kumaramangalam, national vice-president of the BJP's women's wing.

Along with Bader Sayeed, former AIADMK MLA, the trio were at the U.S. Consulate General Chennai on Thursday to be part of a panel discussion on ‘Wome”n and Politics'. Ms. Sayeed said that it was a great challenge to face elections and there was a need to sustain yourself to survive politics. “The lack of training and awareness and lack of access to finance could be the biggest ,” said Ms.Lalitha. Ms. Poongothai said: “We should not underestimate Indian women. Apart from freebies, it is also about what the manifesto is offering in the field of education and healthcare.”