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Rahul Gandhi in Kerala pushes for more women leaders in Congress

ByAbhya Adlakha
Dec 01, 2023 04:46 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Kerala, inaugurated ‘Utsaah,’– a Kerala Mahila Congress Convention in Ernakulam and said there are numerous women leaders in the Congress who possess the qualities necessary to become chief ministers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the party should actively promote women within their organisational structure and set a target to have 50% of women as chief ministers within the coming 10 years.

Rahul Gandhi inaugurates ‘Utsaah’- the Mahila Congress convention, at Marine Drive in Ernakulam on Friday (Twitter/@INCIndia)
Rahul Gandhi inaugurates ‘Utsaah’- the Mahila Congress convention, at Marine Drive in Ernakulam on Friday (Twitter/@INCIndia)

Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Kerala, inaugurated ‘Utsaah,’– a Kerala Mahila Congress Convention in Ernakulam and said there are numerous women leaders in the Congress who possess the qualities necessary to become chief ministers.

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“Today, we do not have a single woman chief minister. But I know many women in the Congress party have the qualities to be very good chief ministers,” Gandhi said.

Highlighting the importance of women’s participation in the political structure in India, Gandhi said that Congress would ensure that there are more women participants at every level in the Congress party in the years to come.

“A good target for the Congress would be that ten years from today, 50% of our chief ministers are women,” he said.

“We have to ensure that at every level, there are more and more women in the organisation,” he added.

Highlighting the major roles that women have played previously in the Congress party as prime ministers and presidents of the country and the party, Gandhi said that the Congress fundamentally believes that women should share the power in the country and that women are not inferior but, in fact, superior to men in many ways.

“They have more patience than men, they have a longer-term vision than men, they are more sensitive, they’re more compassionate…today we don’t have a single chief minister who is a woman,” he said.

While drawing the distinction, Gandhi slammed the Rashtriya Swamyamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu right-wing nationalist organisation, for their lack of inclusion of women in their organisation and claimed that this is what distinguishes Congress from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The central fight between BJP and Congress is about how women should be treated…In its entire history, RSS has not allowed women into its rights…the RSS is purely a male organisation. We believe that women should be allowed to make choices,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi further criticised the BJP-led central government for putting on hold the implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill despite receiving approval from Parliament.

“I have never seen any other Bill passed in Parliament that says it will be implemented only ten years later. The only Bill that the BJP is implementing after ten years after passing is the one that has to be with women’s power,” he said.

“I have heard statements of leaders from the right-wing — senior leaders — where they will say that a girl would not have got raped if she had been dressed properly. This is an insult to every single woman in the country. It is turning the victim into the villain. And this is the difference between us and the RSS,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader concluded his speech by highlighting the various schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) or the Right to Food, which are particularly directed towards women. He urged women to fight the “atmosphere of hatred and violence”, propagated by the Opposition.

More than 50,000 Mahila Congress workers, apart from 10,000 Congress workers, were present at the event.

All Indian Congress Committee general KC Venugopal, Mahila Congress national president Neta D’Souza, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran, and Opposition leader V D Satheesan, were also present at the event.

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