Demand for woman president in BJP’s Madhya Pradesh unit

March 23rd, 2010 - 11:06 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhopal, March 23 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which wholeheartedly supported the passage of the women’s reservation bill in the Rajya Sabha, is now witnessing demands from women members in its Madhya Pradesh unit that the post of state president should go to one of them.
“Since the time of the Jana Sangh, the organisation is headed by men in the state. The time has come for the baton to be handed over to the fair sex,” a senior woman party leader said on condition of anonymity.

“BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who has made a point by implementing a one-third gender quota in the organisation for the first time, has already inducted as many as 40 women in the 121-member new national executive and appointed 13 women office-bearers,” she said.

Women party leaders in Madhya Pradesh want that this time the post of state party chief should go to one of them. The BJP is set to elect its state unit president in the first week of April.

In its 2008 national council, presided by Gadkari’s predecessor Rajnath Singh, the BJP had adopted a resolution that earmarked one-third of all posts for women with the promise that it will be executed when a new team is constituted.

National in-charge of BJP women’s wing Sumitra Mahajan feels that it would be a welcome move if a woman is made party chief.

“Not only in Madhya Pradesh, the reins of the party should be given to women in other states too,” Mahajan, a member of parliament from Indore, told IANS.

Former BJP minister Kusum Mehdele said the time has come when the party leadership should ponder over the issue.

She said: “BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should ponder over the issue and ensure that this time a woman gets a chance to lead the party in the state.”

School Education Minister Archana Chitnis thinks the suggestion of a woman president is a good idea.

BJP leader Sudha Jain said the reservation process for women has commenced in the organisation but if a woman is elected as state party president, that would be an exemplary step.

Another woman party leader, on condition of anonymity, said that such things take time as “quality is as important as numbers. Otherwise, the inductions might have a Congress-like look with women coming in because of their lineage, connections and social (caste and religion) antecedents rather than substantial contribution at the grassroots”.

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