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BJP draws flak for distributing mangalsutra among women

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) courted yet another controversy on Saturday when it arranged for mangalsutras for distribution among the women voters during the election campaigning.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
April 16, 2009 1:02:06 am

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) courted yet another controversy on Saturday when it arranged for mangalsutras for distribution among the women voters during the election campaigning.

The move has drawn flak from the opposition,saying this is against Indian culture. The party has prepared 5,000 mangalsutra with lotus symbol as a pendant in it.

“We will distribute them among women as it is our medium of campaigning,” said BJP media cell member Jagdish Bhavsar,adding the gesture will help the party strike a permanent bond with the women voters.

The Congress,meanwhile,termed it as an “insult” to the Indian culture and demanded apology from the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate L K Advani.

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“As per our culture,a woman gets mangalsutra only from her husband. Here,in a shameful attempt to woo voters,a political party is

distributing them among women. It is an insult to our culture as well as women,” said Congress women leaders in a joint statement.

Independent candidate Mallika Sarabhai,who is contesting the Gandhinagar seat,has written to the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO),saying the BJP has insulted women through this act.

“It is an insult to the Hindu sentiments where mangalsutra is sign of the holy bond between a husband and his wife. As an

Indian woman and a Hindu,I feel disgusted that such sentiments are being invoked by a national party,” she said.

State BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja,however,said the party was distributing “necklace” with a lotus pendant. “We have prepared the necklace and are ready to face any complaint of violation of the model code of conduct,” he said.

While party election in-charge Kai-shek Patel said he had not seen the material,another spokesperson Yamal Vyas said it was a small gesture to the women voters and should not be given too much importance because the intention was to just campaign for the party.

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