Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Rise in women political power in India: Women politicians Mahbooba Mufti, Mamata Banerjee, Jaya, Anandiben chief ministers in four corners of country

As Mahbooba Mufti took oath as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, she made history.

She is the first woman chief minister of the State. Now India has women chief ministers in important states located in all directions of the country.

Just when I was about to write this post, a friend [journalist, blogger] tweeted the same line which I was about to write.

That, 'Women leaders now rule four corners of the country'. That's quite interesting and the first such occasion when we see woman CMs in these states.

In the North, it is Mahbooba Mufti, in the South J Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal (in the Eastern part of India) and Anandi Ben Patel in the West [Gujarat].

Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalitha have to face state elections soon. But for the time being, it is women power in states in the North, the South, the West and the East. Clearly, an important moment in history. The FIFTH is Vasundhara Raje, who rules another big state, Rajasthan.

Three are supremely powerful: Their decision is final in their parties

Another important factor is that three of these four women leaders have complete control over their parties. While Mahbooba leads PDP, a party that is in alliance with BJP, despite having a slight pro-separatist tilt, Jayalalitha heads AIADMK.

Mamata Banerjee is credited for fighting against the Left in WB for long, and for making TMC emerge as a major party and for snatching power from Communists. Anandiben Patel is BJP leader who was given charge of Gujarat after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.

Tough challenge for Mahbooba Mufti

Anandiben Patel has faced Patel agitation and there is resentment against her within the BJP too. Jaya and Mamata are going to face elections, very soon. But for Mahbooba, it is going to be a challenge as to how she runs the government.

It is a tightrope walk for her party, as there is nothing common between BJP and PDP when it comes to their political ideology. The PDP supremo has become CM after a long period of deadlock between her party and the BJP, after her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death.

But, for now, let's celebrate the women politicians' rise, their growing power, in India.