Indore's new mayor Malini Gaud is not a novice. An MLA from assembly constituency 4, Gaud entered politics after the death of her husband Laxman Singh Gaud, a former education minister in Shivraj Singh Chouhan's second ministry. After winning the mayor polls by a thumping majority (she won by over 2 lakh votes), Gaud, the second woman mayor of Indore, spoke to HT about her future plans.
What will be your priorities as the mayor?
Providing basic amenities to the people will be my first priority. I will try to provide clean roads and pure water supply to the residents. It is also my dream to develop Indore as a smart city. Congested areas and narrow lanes will have multi-level and underground parking facilities. My late husband Laxman Singh Gaud had always worked for the betterment of the city. His unfinished dreams will be my inspiration.
Indore is trying to become one of the cleanest cities in the country. What is your master plan to achieve it?
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be our guiding light in this regard. Awareness drives will be conducted to inculcate the habit of cleanliness in people.
As a woman mayor, do you have some specific plans for women?
As a woman, I understand that many others of my sex have to undergo problems due to the lack of proper toilets in the city. I will ensure that majority of the public places have toilets for the convenience of women. A similar initiative will be carried out in schools as many girls stop attending classes due to the lack of toilets. I will also try to ensure regular water supply to every household.
The notion about women politicians is that they are puppets in the hands of male leaders. It is difficult for them to take decisions on their own. Is that the case with you as well?
The notion about women politicians is changing fast because of the works they are undertaking. The BJP has enough examples from Sushma Swaraj to other senior women leaders. I have been into politics for a long time and will always stand by women.