Gokak Cong. candidate Laxmi Hebbalkar pitches for women CM or dy CM in Ktaka in near future

03:02 PM Apr 28, 2023 | PTI |

Congress leader Laxmi Hebbalkar, who is contesting from Belagavi (Rural) assembly segment, on Friday said it is not easy for women to rapidly climb the political ladder but wished to see a woman chief minister or deputy chief minister in Karnataka in near future.


Hebbalkar is contesting for the second time to retain her home turf in the May 10 Assembly polls in the state. Interestingly. her political rival, BJP’s Ramesh Jarkiholi — who is contesting from Gokak constituency — is trying to ensure her defeat. Once noted as close associates, the rivalry between the duo started soon after Hebbalkar was elected as MLA in 2018. And the rivalry reached its peak during the Belagavi District Cooperative Bank elections in 2018.

It is said the alleged interference of KPCC president D K Shivakumar in Belagavi politics is also the reason that had irked Jarkholi. who subsequently quit Congress and joined the BJP.

Speaking to PTI on this issue, Hebbalkar said, ”Jarkiholi is only doing his party’s job. It is not a personal thing. I never take it like that. I am pretty confident and in a comfortable position in this election today,” she added. She also said it is a struggle for women to make a career in politics. Women leaders have to work harder than men to reach their goal. ”Even if we reach higher up, we are looked at with contempt,” she said.

In a patriarchal society, it’s common to cast aspersions on the moral character of a woman. ”Most often than not, these allegations are baseless and are made to discourage women leaders in politics. I have faced them all throughout my career and it hurts me at times,” she added.


Asserting that there are many women leaders in Karnataka politics who possess great leadership strength, Hebbalkar said, ”There are many capable women leaders in the Congress as well and wish to see a women chief minister or deputy chief minister in near future.” Asked if she was aspiring to be one, the Congress leader said, ”Long way to go, I need to work a lot. I am not going to take a long jump. As I said, I believe in growing slow and steady.”

Karnataka has never had a women chief minister till date. Hebbalkar shared that she is a first generation politician and grew from the grassroot as a simple worker since 1998. ”I did not rise suddenly in a year or two. I grew gradually and steadily. So the party will recognise my work and offer responsibilities — be it as minister or deputy minister.”

It may be noted that there is a triangular fight in Belagavi (Rural) assembly constituency between the incumbent Congress, BJP and the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES). From Belagavi (Rural), BJP has fielded Nagesh Mannolkar while the MES candidate is a real estate businessman and its active worker RM Chougule. Hebbalkar also said Congress will comfortably win 12 out of 18 seats in Belagavi district and will get above 120 seats in the state during the assembly poll that will go for voting on May 10.


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