Rahi Gaikwad

He says Hindutva, not seat-sharing, the crux of the bond

Aurangabad: The alliance between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party is founded on the bedrock of Hindutva ideology, and seat-sharing will do nothing to jeopardise this association, according to BJP national secretary Gopinath Munde.

His confidence assumes significance in the wake of Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s indication on Thursday that his party would back Sharad Pawar as Prime Minister.

“For 22 years, the BJP-Sena alliance has been based on Hindutva; not seat-sharing. The two parties will decide the seats in the next two days. We trust the Sena and do not think they will go with the NCP. I cannot see the possibility of Mr. Pawar becoming the Prime Minister. L.K. Advani is our choice,” Mr. Munde told reporters here on Thursday.

The BJP leader was speaking on the sidelines of a women’s conference organised by the party on Thursday. The meet saw a strong turnout of women from across the State, even from remote underdeveloped districts like Gadhchiroli.

Quota for women

Mr. Munde promised 10 per cent reservation for women in the State for the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats if his party came to power.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi hailed his State as a model for the uplift of women. He spoke of the schemes of his government to curtail infant mortality, anaemia among women and girls and deaths of women during childbirth.

Many speakers raised their concern over the increase in incidents of rape, human trafficking and dowry.

“In Maharashtra, the conviction rate of rape is 2.5 per cent while that of dowry harassment is 3.5 per cent,” Shobha Phadanvis, a BJP member stated. Women from rural self-help groups turned out in large numbers at the meet.

Parvatibai Sambhaji Surushe from Nanded district had to conceal her visit from her family members. “I did not tell at home that I was coming to this meet. As women, we are never allowed to step out for such events ,” she said.