Four women leaders — Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, J. Jayalalithaa and Sheila Dikshit — are leading the key states from north, east and south which elect a total of 168 Lok Sabha seats.
Ms Mayawati is the BSP supremo who has changed the rule of the power game in Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 members in the Lok Sabha. Ms Banerjee made history by unseating the Left Front which had been ruling West Bengal since 1977 without a break. Its strength in the Lower House is 42.
AIADMK supremo Jayalalaithaa has been known as a fighter in Tamil Nadu (39 Lok Sabha seats). She has disproved the power of money, media and dynasty by defeating the DMK-led front in the state Assembly elections.
Delhi’s strength in the Lok Sabha is seven but Ms Dikshit’s victory in successive terms proved that the culture of the national capital is changing. She may not be as powerful as Ms Mayawati, Ms Banerjee and Ms Jayalalithaa but has created a political constituency beyond the Congress Party.
While Ms Mayawati, Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Dikshit are chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, Ms Banerjee is all set to take the oath of office of the West Bengal chief minister.
“You can win a state Assembly election only if you have a leader,” a senior Congress leader said adding that the Congress won Assam for a third time consecutively because of chief minister Tarun Gogoi, could win Andhra Pradesh due to the late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy.
“Chief ministers Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Naveen Patnaik (Orissa), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) have been winning the Assembly elections because they have emerged as leaders of their states.” “We are not able to win elections in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and other states mainly because we have been lacking strong regional leaders. We retained power in Maharashtra consecutively for a third time not because of the then chief minister but because of the Opposition’s failure to emerge as an alternative,” he viewed. Asian Age