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Give us gunners: Women pramukhs tell Chief Minister

AFTER WINNING the panchayat electoral battle that witnessed violence, the fair sex on Saturday flooded the chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav with the demand for ?gunners? for their protection. The newly elected 166 women block pramukhs of the Samajwadi Party, who had assembled here for directives from the party leadership, claimed in unison there was a threat to their lives.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 01:39 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

AFTER WINNING the panchayat electoral battle that witnessed violence, the fair sex on Saturday flooded the chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav with the demand for “gunners” for their protection.

The newly elected 166 women block pramukhs of the Samajwadi Party, who had assembled here for directives from the party leadership, claimed in unison there was a threat to their lives.

While their male counterparts, too, asked for gunners, a large number of women even rushed to SP MP from Kannauj Akhilesh Yadav with applications, saying “gunner dijye, jaan ko bahut khatra hai”. Some of them explained in detail their “jaan ka khatra” (threat to life) theory.

With MLAs, MPs and zila panchayat chairmen roaming around in their constituencies, with gunners, how could block pramukhs go without this privilege, was the general feeling among both men and women pramukhs.

Gunners have, in fact, become a status symbol for the elected representatives in the State. A woman block pramukh was even more straightforward in her demand for “reimbursement” for expenditure during the election. She said, “BDC members ko bahut dena para hai, kuch to bhar pai ho” (we had to pay a large sum to BDC members to get their votes, so there should be some compensation). Another one from Banda said she had been receiving threats from the defeated candidate.

However, most of the women block pramukhs, some of them in ‘ghughat’, (veil), could not say anything, except giving a brief introduction.

Though all of them came to the party headquarters in Boleros, Scorpios and Sumos, they demanded an official car for “khestra ka daura” (visit to the constituency). With nearly 80 per cent seats going to Samajwadi Party in the block pramukh election, the party has the largest chunk of victorious women.

However, while accepting some of their demands, Yadav simply ignored the plea for a gunner, as it required an additional 820 cops. The chief minister accepted their demand of empowering them to write the annual confidential report of block development officer, transfer of block employees and enhancement in their honorarium from Rs 1000 to 3000.

The honorarium of zila panchayat chairmen has been increased from Rs 1500 to Rs 4000 and of village pradhans from Rs 500 to Rs 600. The zila and area panchayat members would get Rs 300 and Rs 200 DA per meeting.

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 01:39 IST