First, it began with Rani Kumudini Devi, a politician with a royal lineage, when she was elected the first woman mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) in 1962. The MCH, during her tenure, had a larger jurisdiction having the municipality of Jubilee Hills and the Municipal Corporation of Secunderabad merged with Hyderabad Municipal Corporation a few years earlier.
When Sarojini Pulla Reddy, who would later become a minister, took the reins of the MCH in 1965, the jurisdiction of the city had just been expanded with newer areas added to the city municipal body. In a way, Sarojini also qualified for the tag, the first woman mayor, of the expanded MCH. Her tenure ended in 1966. Kumudini Devi too had served for just two years.
Incidentally, their elections were preceded by change in the geographical area of Telangana region in undivided Andhra Pradesh. Aswaraopet from West Godavari and Bhadrachalam from East Godavari were added to Khammam district following recommendation of the Fazal Ali Commission on reorganisation of states. Munagala in Krishna district was added to Nalgonda district.
For a little over four decades, between 1966 and 2009, there was no woman mayor. In 2007, MCH was expanded to form Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the civic body polls were held in 2009. Banda Kartika Reddy, who was then with the Congress, was elected the first woman mayor of GHMC.
When elections to the GHMC was held in December 2020, there was no change in the municipal limits, but the geographical area of the state had changed with the bifurcation of AP to form Telangana in 2014.
The newly-elected mayor, Gadwal Vijaya Laxmi is also the first woman mayor of Hyderabad after the formation of Telangana.