Women elected representatives told to reach out to women voters

Bharatiya Janata Party Mahila Morcha national president and television actor-turned Rajya Sabha member Smriti Irani on Wednesday appealed to the Karnataka unit to give ticket to more women to contest the Assembly elections.

Ms. Irani made this appeal to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and party State organising general secretary Santosh while addressing a convention of BJP’s women elected representatives, right from panchayats to the Legislative Council in Bangalore, organised as part of the party’s strategy to use its women elected representatives to reach out to the masses, especially women voters.

She expressed concern that though people are proud that today’s women have found a place in all fields, in reality their representation was poor. “Women’s representation in Parliament is less than 10 per cent. Their representation in the police is 4.6 per cent and 14 per cent in the Indian Administrative Service,” she said, even while pointing out that of the 26 judges in the Supreme Court, only two were women.

Stressing the need to increase their representation in various fields, she hailed the State government for increasing women’s reservation in local bodies from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.

‘Let the message go out’

Appealing to the women elected representatives and the Mahila Morcha to play a crucial role in the Assembly poll campaign, she asked them to draw up a 100-day calendar of events to prepare for elections.

She urged the Mahila Morcha members to create awareness among women about the welfare measures taken up by the government for them and persuade a large number of women to exercise their franchise.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shettar listed various women’s welfare measures taken up by the government in the last four-and-a-half-years.

A total of Rs. 38,800 crore had been spent for the empowerment of women in the previous year’s State Budget, apart from spending on various other schemes. Similarly, Rs. 718 crore had been spent on the Bhagyalakshmi scheme alone, he said.

He urged them to take this information to the people, especially women voters.

Two miss meet

Though it was a BJP women’s elected representatives’ meeting, the BJP’s lone woman Minister Shobha Karandlaje and MLC Bharati Shetty stayed away. Interestingly, the party invite did not bear the names of both the women who are prominent members of the B.S. Yeddyurappa camp.

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