BJP Mahila Morcha chief Vijaya Rahatkar said Tuesday her party supports women empowerment and it would try to give them “more than” the 33 per cent reservation currently allowed at the panchayat level in Jammu and Kashmir.
Rahatkar said the BJP is the only party in India which is giving women their “due share”.
“We have highest women members in Parliament and civic bodies. We have 33 per cent reservation for women in panchayat polls here but we will try to give more than that as we are doing across the country,” she said.
Some states, including Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, already follow 50 per cent reservation for women in panchayat.
Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir are scheduled to be held between November 8 and December 4. They have not been held in the state since 2011.
Urban bodies polls are set to be held between October 1 and October 5.
The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party have announced they will boycott the polls until the central government, of the BJP, clarifies its position on the legal challenge to the Constitution’s Article 35A, which gives special rights and privileges to the residents of the state, in the Supreme Court.
Rahatkar, who is in Jammu on a two-day visit, has had door-to-door interactions with women beneficiaries of central government-sponsored schemes in Gangyal area in Jammu.
She expressed confidence that the BJP would return to power at the Centre with a majority in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“The beneficiaries of the centrally-sponsored schemes are standing with us on their own after noticing a change in their lives,” Rahatkar said, accompanied by state BJP Mahila Morcha chief Rajni Sethi.
Rahatkar said her party has 12 crore members across the country who include about 25-30 per cent women workers. She said the focus on empowering women is aimed at strengthening the nation.
“Mahila Morchas across the country were strengthened and 10 women are involved in every booth and playing their role to reach out to people and educate them about various schemes and other steps being taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for their betterment,” she told reporters.
“The government has taken various measures for the safety of women by amending the POCSO Act and it will have a positive impact in near future,” she stressed.
Responding to a question on the unprecedented increase in fuel prices, she urged people to have patience. The central government is involved in infrastructure development and needs “time”, she added.
“The NDA government repaid over Rs two lakh crore which was taken as loan through oil bonds by the previous Congress-led UPA government to keep the fuel prices at a lower level,” she said.
She claimed that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said, “‘We have taken this oil bonds but coming generations will have to face its fallout’. Our government has inherited it and repaid the loan. We are trying our best and building infrastructure. Government is doing a very good job but people need to be patient to reap the benefits in near future.”