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Gujarat elections 2017 | PM Modi to speak to 5,500 block-level Mahila workers

To deepen the outreach of BJP among women, who are believed to be a caste neutral constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will directly speak to 5500 block-level workers of Gujarat BJP Mahila Morcha on Friday.The move comes at a time when caste is ringing louder in Assembly election campaign of Gujarat and BJP’s rival Congress has sewn up an umbrella alliance with various caste and tribe leaders from among the OBC, Dalit, tribal and assertive Patel community.In 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well, women are said to have played an important role in BJP’s stupendous victory and the party has never been shy of flaunting its work towards empowering the women.Ironically, both Congress and BJP have together fielded only 21 candidates in the Assembly polls of Guajrat this time, which, constitute of around percent of total votes.Of the 977 candidates contesting for the first phase of polls only 57 are women. BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat Bupendra Yadav said that Modi will interact with 5500 block level workers of BJP Mahila Morcha in the state between 4.30 to 5 PM after they complete download of NaMo App by 4.30 on December 1. “The Prime Minister will hold a direct dialogue with them,” Yadav said. A party source said that Modi could also some of the questions during what is supposed to be a live video call.The BJP has been highlighting its contributions like PM Modi naming Anandiben Patel, a woman as Chief Minister of Gujrat when he demitted office after 2014 Lok Sabha polls to become Prime Minister.Sumitra Mahajan becoming Lok Sabha Speaker and Modi government giving two top portolios in the South Bloc—External Affiars Ministry to Sushma Swaraj and Defence Ministry to Nirmala Sitharaman, both of whom are also now members of the coveted Cabinet Committee on Security, are also highlighted by the BJP leaders.The BJP has also sought to reach out to Muslim women with its repeated assertion of support to the abolition of the practice of triple talaq. The government has also announced to discuss the issue in upcoming Winter session.During the interaction with BJP Mahila workers, the Prime Minister is expected to do a pep talk and encourage them to reach out to women in larger numbers.This is the first time in last two decades that BJP is seeing a keen contest in Gujarat.BJP leaders during interactions in Gujarat have repeatedly highlighted the schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Common Service Centre involving 33,000 women, 50 percent reservation in panchayat and other such decisions as Modi government’s push towards ensuring gender justice and women empowerment.On October 14, Swaraj interacted with one lakh women from across Gujarat in a Mahila Town Hall programme in Ahmedabad, which was hosted by BJP Gujarat Mahila Morcha via video conferencing as well as in person. Gujarat Mahila Morcha has also held a large number conferences in the run up to Gujarat polls.When Rahul Gandhi in October kicked up a controversy with his “women in shorts” not seen in RSS remarks, BJP’s female ministers including Swaraj were in the fore front, dubbing Gandhi’s remarks as “insult” to women.At a rally in Ahmedabad on October 14, Swaraj had reminded Gandhi that BJP had given four women chief ministers and four women governors to the country and that there are six women who were cabinet ministers in the BJP-led government.Swaraj, Union Minister Uma Bharti, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, former Guajrat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and cine star turned Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini figure in the list of BJP star campaigners.Anandiben Patel, is, however, yet to campaign anywhere. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev, former Union Ministers Kumari Selja and Ambika Soni, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and film star turned politician Nagma figure in the list of star campaigners.
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Women’s wing BJP’s spearhead in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a crucial state poll where the Opposition is trying to cobbled up a caste combination, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat is making strides to reach out to the caste-neutral constituency of women through innovative ways such as ‘Kamal Mehndi’ and ‘Hitaishi Sammelans’.The party’s women’s wing or Mahila Morcha is the vanguard of the campaigns. “We are identifying women who are the beneficiaries of the numerous schemes for women’s welfare such as e-Mamata and Ujjwala launched by both the Centre as well as the state BJP government and are reaching out to them across all state Assembly constituencies at local gatherings, called ‘Hitaishi Sammelans’ (well-wishers’ meet). Every such sammelan is attracting over 3,000 women even in seats where we had lost the last time,” BJP Mahila Morcha chief Vijaya Rahatkar told DNA.The objective of such gatherings is to enlist the support, and therefore votes, of the women who have received assistance under Central and state schemes as also to advertise the pro-women pro-poor face of the party. “It is always easy and more effective to associate people with a political party when the party is in power or when the people are legatees of the welfare programmes of the government,” said a senior BJP leader from Gujarat requesting anonymity.Another such move, rather more innovative, is the ‘Kamal Mehndi’ initiative under which morcha activists are literally stamping women with ‘mehndi’ or ‘henna’. Interestingly, party’s fabled election symbol, the lotus flower, is tattooed with mehndi on their hands or palms. This has been envisioned as a way to directly relate to women given that mehndi is India’s traditional body art associated with women and has a sensitive place in their religious life.”We started making the lotus on the palms of women with mehndi from Saurashtra and in one day we were able to give 50,000 women lotuses on their hands. This is like handing lotus flowers to women. Then we launched it in West Gujarat and there we counted one lakh women who we handed over lotuses on hands in henna,” Rahatkar said.Added to this, five women volunteers of the party have been deputed per booth in the state and a separate unit each has been stationed on ‘Shakti Kendras’ which are a conglomeration of five booths in BJP parlance.

Buzz on Anandiben’s increasing importance, but she stays away from party programmes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniyan Swamy said on Friday that former chief minister Anandiben Patel should be reinstated as CM of Gujarat again. Swamy’s statement has created ripples in Gujarat politics, especially in the ambit of the BJP. On the other side, the party is preparing for Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s Twitter townhall programme to address the issues of women. Anandiben Patel, as the senior most woman leader in Gujarat BJP, has stayed away from it.Swaraj is going to address women on October 14 in Ahmedabad and women across the state will connect to her through the social media platform from 25 places. The Mahila Morcha(women wing) of Gujarat has been meeting to plan the programme for the past few days but Ben’s absence is clearly seen at the party’s headquarter Shri Kamalam.A leader close to Anandiben Patel said, “Anandiben is working as an independent leader of the BJP and has been given a different role to play in the elections. That is why she is visiting different places and people. She is not the member of the Mahila Morcha and that is why it is not mandatory for her to be there in preparation of the programme, but she has other important duties to play meanwhile.”Anandiben has been visiting different parts of North Gujarat and has also been holding meetings with different people at her residence in Gandhinagar for the past few days.Gujarat president of BJP Mahila Morcha, Jyoti Pandya, said, “Anandiben Patel is our senior leader and she has been guiding us. It is not necessary for her to be seen in the posters of programmes elsewhere.”A senior leader of the party said, “Ever since Amit Shah met Anandiben Patel during the closed-door meeting, it is believed that Anandiben’s importance is increasing and the party is seriously missing her. In BJP, a single person does not decide everything. Important issues are discussed and then decided unanimously in the party forum. Ben becoming the CM depends on the unanimous decision of party’s parliamentary board.”Union minister Ravishankar Prasad announced Swaraj’s townhall programme on Friday from Gujarat’s BJP headquarters Shri Kamalam. Prasad also avoided questions on Anandiben. Patel could not be reached for her reaction.

Hills unrest: Now, even fire engines are burnt down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking the norms of a bandh where emergency services are spared, three fire engines at Kurseong were set on fire late on Saturday night, allegedly by GJM supporters.It was revealed that around eight to10 people wearing black masks had come to the fire brigade office at Kurseong and, holding the security guard at the point of a khukuri, entered the office and hurled petrol bombs inside. They also burnt three fire tenders before leaving. It has been an unprecedented incident as the GJM-sponsored bandh at the hills entered Day 18 on Sunday, because so far none of the emergency services had been attacked.Another Tata Sumo car, on Hill Cart Road, about 250m away from the Fire Brigade office, was stopped and set ablaze after passengers and drivers were forced out of the vehicle. The vehicle was on its way to Siliguri and since the fire tenders were razed, the flames of the burning Sumo could not be doused.District police officials said that four different cases have been initiated. Police were carrying out raids since Saturday night but there have been no arrests so far. All the police stations of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik have been kept on high alert.Members of Youth Morcha of GJM took out a rally on Sunday and gheraoed Darjeeling Police Station at about 11.30 am, demanding the release of a 65-year-old GJM activist who had earlier been arrested by the police. “She is a 65-year-old leader of the Mahila Morcha and had been beaten up badly by the police leading to a broken left arm. We demand she should be freed,” said an agitating Morcha worker.The gherao was lifted after officials of Darjeeling PS assured agitators that the GJM Mahila Morcha leader had been taken to the plains for treatment and would be brought back in two days.GJM leaders, however, denied all charges of violence and said their workers were not involved in any incidents of arson or attack on government offices.

MoS goes on 75 km rail journey,interacts with youth at rly stn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seeking to interact with the public, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal undertook a 75 km journey in a suburban train from neighbouring Kancheepuram, where he interacted with youth, to this city. The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs was scheduled to take part in couple of events in Chennai. After visiting the temple town, Meghwal and his supporters purchased tickets by standing in queue for his suburban rail journey at Kancheepuram Railway Station. “Purchased tickets at #Kanchipuram Railway Station. Now going to #Chennai from Kanchipuram by [email protected] @ RailMinIndia”, Meghwal said in a series of tweets. The Minister also shared some of the pictures of him standing in the queue to purchase the tickets and also his brief interaction with school students at the station. “Interacted with the energetic youth of #NewIndia at #Kanchipuram East Railway Station. Aspirational youth will take the Nation to new highs”, he said. On his visit to Chennai, Meghwal addressed the women cadres of the Mahila Morcha State BJP unit. “Addressed the Mahila Morcha #TamilNadu State Office Bearers in @BJP4TamilNadu Office Chennai. Spoke about #digitalIndia and #standupIndia loan”, he said in another tweet. Meanwhile, BJP, Tamil Nadu unit, President Tamilisai Sounderrajan expressed her gratitude to the Minister for taking part in the programme in social networking site. “@arjunrammeghwal thank Hon’ble minister for attending Mahila Morcha State Office Bearers meeting at Party HQ in Chennai”, she tweeted. Meghwal also undertook surprise visit to a slum in Mylapore in city. “#Mylapore visited the houses of people living in slum area and created awareness on keeping the area clean. #SwachhBharat #SwasthaBharat”, he tweeted. Meghwal also participated in the 1000th birth anniversary of Saint Ramanujacharya and 126th Anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar during his visit to city.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kamaljeet Sehrawat elected South Delhi mayor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s Dwarka councillor Kamaljeet Sehrawat, who had won in her ward in the recently concluded civic polls with the highest margin, was elected the mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) in the first meeting of the newly constituted House at the Civic Centre on Thursday.Sehrawat had defeated AAP’s Sushma Bansal by a margin of 9,866 votes in the civic polls conducted on April 23. Kailash Sankla who represents the Punjabi Bagh ward was elected as her deputy.Both Sehrawat and Sankla were elected unopposed, as no other nominations were filed for the two posts.Sehrawat, who has headed the BJP’s Mahila Morcha for a long period, said her vision is to make Delhi clean, green, and healthy.”I have planned a special drive to be launched soon from each of the wards to clean the areas. We will make sure RWAs and NGOs participate in greater numbers in the drive,” she said.The new mayor’s focus will also be on women’s safety, and upgrading primary health centres and parks in the city.”We are in the process of identifying dark spots in the area which have been vulnerable to crimes against women. Streetlights will be replaced with LEDs in all of these areas,” she said.Toilets for women in public places have also been an issue for which the South Corporation had recently come out with a policy, which allows women to use toilets at hotels and restaurants.Talking about the party’s poll promise of providing food to the poor at Rs 10, she said that the Deen Dayal Antodya Yojna Scheme will be implemented soon.Meanwhile, the six members to the corporation’s standing committee included BJP’s Bhupendra Gupta who was elected as the chairman. Besides, Congress party’s Abhishek Dutt from Andrews Ganj and AAP’s Ashok Kumar from Hastsal ward were elected as members to the committee.

Delhi BJP forms 19-member committee for MCD poll affairs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari tonight announced a 19-member election committee to run the party affairs related to MCD polls to be held on April 23. The committee includes all the 15 members of the Core Committee of the Delhi BJP. The Election Committee is empowered to select candidates for elections. The three general secretaries of Delhi BJP– Rajesh Bhatia, Ravinder Gupta and Kuljeet Chahal– and Mahila Morcha president Punam Parashar will be other members of the election committee, said party’s media in-charge Praveen Kapoor.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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