Sushma Swaraj, J Jayalalithaa, Mamata Banerjee.
These three top female Indian politicians have one thing in common: A common adversary in the Congress.
But solidarity on International Women’s Day appeared to have washed away the political acrimony as the Congress hailed these women as part of a minute-long GIF called ‘Celebrating Womanhood’.
The irony of these three leaders featuring in the Congress campaign wasn’t lost on anyone. Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and West Bengal CM Banerjee are both locked in a bitter poll battle with the Congress in their respective states. The assembly elections are due in these two states next month.
Swaraj’s inclusion, too, seemed surprising as the Congress washed out an entire Parliament session last year demanding her resignation eight months ago. The Congress wanted her to resign over the alleged scam in allowing former cricket administrator Lalit Modi to travel outside England.
But all that seemed forgotten on Tuesday as the opposition party hailed Swaraj as the “the youngest ever cabinet minister in 1977”and prominently mentioned another BJP leader, commerce and industries minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The tagline of the clip put out by the party’s official twitter handle spoke about these leaders’ “determination to fight & surmount every obstacle in life”: An interesting choice of words, considering most of them would consider the Congress a political obstacle.
The Twitter campaign also mentioned Meira Kumar, the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha, and her successor, the current Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
We also take pride that we have had the first woman Speaker, Smt Meira Kumar: Sonia Gandhi— INC India (@INCIndia) March 8, 2016
Of course, the Congress did not forget to mention “India’s first woman PM” Indira Gandhi and party president Sonia Gandhi.
Industry stalwarts such as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Indra Nooyi, late classical legend MS Subbalakshmi, Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza were also part of the campaign.