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Two-child norm for all: Sena chief

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray, has called for the two-child norm to be enforced among all communities. This comes after the recent move by the ruling Congress-NCP Government to restrict water from irrigation projects to farmers with two children. At a recent two-day meeting of party representatives, Mr. Thackeray said that family planning must be applicable to all religions. Mr. Thackeray also called for a stop to loudspeakers on mosques.

For the first time in the party's history, two women were nominated as deputy leaders. Nilam Gorhe, who is a member of the State Legislative Council, and Meena Kambli, one of the founders of the women's wing of the Sena — the Mahila Aghadi — were nominated along with former Union Minister, Suresh Prabhu, as deputy leaders. The Sena already has 11 deputy leaders to which Mr. Thackeray has added ten more.

Ms. Gorhe told The Hindu that with this move, she was confident that more women would be involved in the political process. She said in the last few years, the Shiv Sena was taking up women's issues, including gender budgeting, and many efforts were initiated. The party was tackling atrocities such as rape and also issues of employment, especially in the EGS. However, she said it was important to strengthen the women cadres.

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