New Delhi: Actor-turned-politician Sumalatha Ambareesh envisions a House that comprises 50 per cent female members. Sumalatha made history by becoming the first independent woman candidate to enter the Lok Sabha from Karnataka.
“We have debated a lot about providing 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha. But why not 50 per cent? I would love to see half of the members in the House to be women,” the MP from Mandya seat of Karnataka said.
Equating her first day in the lower house to that of first day at school or college, she mused that she was learning to get acquainted with the formalities of the House.
“My first time at Parliament was like the first day at school or college. It was a mix of nervousness and excitement. The learning curve however is exciting,” she said.
Even though she says that there were various challenges being an independent candidate, the MP asserted that it freed her from the burden of towing the line of a particular party and could raise the issues of her constituency independently.
Talking about raising the issues prevalent in the parliamentary constituency she represents, she said revival of the lakes is on her priority.
“During my campaign, I saw that many lakes have dried up. Women have to walk several miles to fill water to meet their daily requirement. I have already met the Jal Shakti Minister and have submitted a memorandum in this regard.
“Mandya is a sugarcane growing belt. The farmers are not getting proper price for their produce; I want to raise this issue on priority. Connectivity and road infrastructure is another area of concern, which I would like to bring the government”s attention to,” she said.
The 55-year-old, who lost her husband, Kannada actor-politician Ambareesh, last year reminisces that her plunge into politics was “purely accidental”.
“It was my husband who had nurtured this constituency. His supporters turned up in large numbers at his funeral, which touched me and I decided to contest. I did not care if I won or lost, I had to respect my husband”s memory.”