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First Woman Mayor for Mysore

Mysore City has its first woman Mayor. Mrs. Modamani of Congress Party was elected unopposed to the post of the first citizen of Mysore on June 30. Mysore City was upgraded from the City Municipal Council to the City Corporation level in 1983 and since then only men occupied the Mayor’s post. Mr. Ayub Khan, also of the Congress Party, was elected unopposed Deputy Mayor.

After hectic lobbying within the Congress Party, with Mrs. Yashoda and Mrs. Bharathi being two other strong aspirants within the party, the party leaders announced the selection of Mrs. Modamani as the party’s candidate, on the eve of the election. The
leaders also declared that Mr. Ayub Khan would be the candidate for the Deputy Mayor’s post. The two other contenders within the party for the candidature were Mr. B,Vasudev, an Independent supporting the Congress from Ward No.29, and Syed Akram. This time, the post of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor were reserved for woman and Backward Class candidates.

While the Janata Dal stayed away from the election, as it coincided with the party’s convention, the members of the Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a demonstration and walked out protesting over the manner in which the election was being conducted. They supported the Congress rival aspirant Mrs. Yashodha, who after the election alleged that the party leaders held her captive in the Mayor’s chamber, coming in the way of filing her nomination for the Mayor’s post. The 18-member Janata Dal and the BJP, with 10 members, did not field their candidates.

When outgoing Mayor, Mr.T.B.Chikkanna, began the election process, only one lady member, Mrs. Modamani filed her candidature. Her name was proposed by Ms. Lalithamma and Mr. Jayasheela. The candidature of Mr. Ayub Khan for the Deputy Mayor post was proposed by Mr. P. Dakshina Murthy and seconded by Mr.P.Devaraj. Amidst confusion and protest by the BJP members, Mr.Chikkanna declared Mrs. Modamani elected for the Mayor’s post, as there were no other nominations. However, for the post of Deputy Mayor, two nominations were filed. Following persuasion by the Congress leaders, Mr. B.Vasudeva withdrew his nomination in favour of Mr. Ayub Khan. As Mr. Khan was the lone contestant, Mr. Chikkanna declared Mr. Khan elected
unopposed for the Deputy Mayor’s post. After a protest walk-out by the BJP and the election, the Mayor adjourned the meeting, putting off the election to the four standing committees.

Representing Ward No.19, Mrs. Modamani, 46, is a student of M.A. (Political Science) in the Karnataka State Open University. Born at Alur in Hassan district to late Patel Ningegowda, who was a member of the local Taluk Board and late Deviramma, Mrs. Modamani was first elected to the Mysore City Corporation in 1990 from the 34th ward. She headed the Finance and Taxation Committee in 1992-93 and was a member of the Health Committee and the Works Committee. She had lost the 1996 City Corporation election and was, however, successful in the last civic election. She was the President of Mysore City District Congress Committee women’s wing from 1996-2001. She has now become the 19th Mayor of Mysore. She is associated with several associations and organizations. After her election, Mrs. Modamani assured the citizens of filling up the vacant posts of Poura Karmikas and improving the city’s cleanliness, besides roads and water supply.

Mr. Ayub Khan, who is elected as Deputy Mayor, represents Ward No.55. The term of office of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor is one year.

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