Raje faces rebellion from BJP?s women

A day after Vasundhara Raje said state BJP would to field 20 to 22 women, she was faced with near rebellion from colleagues in BJP Mahila Morcha, reports DK Singh.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2003 16:43 IST
DK Singh

A day after Rajasthan BJP chief Vasundhara Raje re-iterated her party’s commitment to field at least 20 to 22 women candidates in the State, she was faced with near rebellion from her own party colleagues from State BJP Mahila Morcha.

A delegation of Morcha activists met BJP president Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday to protest against the way the party was selecting 'parachute candidates' from among the women.

Referred to the State leaders by him, they came to lodge their protest with Vasundhara Raje, who was holding a meeting of the party’s core committee to finalise the second list of candidates for Rajasthan at BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan’s residence in New Delhi.

Although the delegation members refused to go on record about the discontent among the women party workers, they minced no words when asked about their opinion of the party’s attitude towards women.

They had strong views about the denial of ticket to State BJP Mahila Morcha president Kiran Maheshwari, who was overlooked in favour of Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria, who wanted to change his seat from Badi Sadri to Udaipur.

"Ghanshyam Tiwari who had lost elections from Chomu by over 40,000 votes was given ticket from Sanganer," claimed Mahila Morcha secretary Kamlesh Sharma who had resigned from her government job to serve the party. "It is a male-dominated party," said a member of the delegation.

As for the parachute candidates, they had a litany of complaints. "The wives of two MPs- Jaswant Singh Yadav and Ram Singh Kasva- and one former minister were given tickets by the party, even though nobody has even seen them. And our president is denied ticket," said Kamlesh Sharma.

The delegation, later joined by BJP Mahila Morcha national vice-president Mamta Kumar, met Raje at Mahajan’s residence on Thursday evening but went back disappointed, as they were told that selection was being made on the basis of "winnability factor."

"At least, the party could give us tickets from those seats where our leaders think it would lose. Our party should at least try our strength," said a delegation member.

First Published: Nov 07, 2003 17:44 IST