The Bharatiya Janata Party workers are confident that women empowerment initiatives undertaken by the BJP government between 2007 and 2012 in the state would pay off in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. They said the initiatives had been popular among the women and that they would show their gratitude by voting for the party.
“We are confident of getting their (women’s) support in the LS election because we have introduced a series of initiatives for women empowerment when we were ruling the state,” said state BJP president Teerath Singh Rawat.
“In fact, it was our government that passed a law ensuring 50% reservation for women in the three-tier panchayat bodies in 2008,” he said.
Rawat said the party also ensured 33% reservation for women in its organisational structure.
“We were the first to initiate such a move,” he said while listing a series of steps the BJP government initiated for empowering women between 2007 and 2012.
These initiatives included a provision for a financial assistance of `25,000 to all girls below the poverty line after they have passed Class 12.
Similarly, another scheme made BPL couples entitled to `7,500 immediately after the birth of a baby girl in their family. The scheme was aimed at curbing female foeticides in the state, Rawat said, adding that the then BJP government subsequently extended the scheme to all families, whose monthly income was not more than `1,500.
“We will publicise these initiative among the women the women voters through a series of programmes that we plan to organise as part of our poll campaign,” said Manju Tiwari, the state president of the BJP Mahila Morcha.
“We promise the women voters that if the BJP forms a government at the Centre, it will pass the Women’s Reservation Bill, which has been dumped by the Congress-led UPA government, in Parliament,” she said.
“If the bill becomes law, we will have 21 of the total 70 seats in the state assembly reserved for women,” clarified state BJP general secretary Prakash Pant. “A group of so many women MLAs will certainly initiate at least some concrete steps towards women empowerment,” he added.
Similarly, if the BJP came to power at the Centre, it would also press for an amendment to the People’s Representation Act.