With Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalithaa set to capture power in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu respectively, India could for the first time boast of four women Chief Ministers. Shiela Dikshit of Delhi has the distinction of the longest serving woman Chief Minister in post-independent India, has been serving for the past 12 years.
BSP supremo Mayawati has singlehandedly secured power in the largest state of Uttar Pradesh in 2007 elections and her victory at that time was seen as a defining moment in Indian politics.
Sucheta Kripalani of the Congress was the first woman Chief Minister of independent India having been at the helm of affairs in Uttar Pradesh (1963-67).
Vasundhara Raje of BJP became the first woman Chief Minister of Rajasthan (2003 -2008)
Nandini Satpathy of the Congress was the Chief Minister of Orissa (1972-74, 1974-76).
Shashikala Kakodkar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party was Chief Minister of the then Union territory of Goa for most part of the seventies.
Syeed Anwara Taimur of Congress ruled seven months (1980-81) as Cheif Mnister of Assam.
The tenure of the late Janaki Ramachandran, wife of the Late M G Ramachandran, was the shortest. She was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for less than a month in 1988.
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal of the Congress was the Punjab Chief Minister for a year in the mid-nineties while Uma Bharati had also a short tenure in Madhya Pradesh after leading the BJP in the Assembly elections of 2003.
Sushma Swaraj was Delhi Chief Minister for four months and Rabri Devi (W/o Lalu Prasad Yadav) of Bihar is Chief Minister for three times.
Recent years have in fact proved a boon to women leaders in India