In 1978, Taradevi was chosen the president of Mudigere Taluka Development Board and went on to become the chief of the town's municipal council. When Indira Gandhi stood for election from Chikmagalur, she stayed at Taradevi's house. Later, she served as a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly till 1984, when the Indian National Congress (INC) fielded her in Chikmagalur during the 1984 Indian general election. After completing her first term in the 8th Lok Sabha, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1990. The following year, Taradevi contested in the 1991 Indian general election and became a minister for State, Health & Family Welfare in the newly formed cabinet of P. V. Narasimha Rao.
Taradevi has also held important positions within the INC administration, including that of joint secretary of the All India Congress Committee. For a brief period, she was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
- "Members Bioprofile: Siddhartha, Smt. D.K. Thara Devi". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- Vohra, Pankaj (1 March 2014). "Rahul may fight from two seats". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- Ramaseshan, Radhika (12 November 2002). "Sangh blood too thick for Cong converts". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- "Taradevi to quit BJP". Deccan Herald. 24 March 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2017.