A BJP member from Jammu and Kashmir has alleged that women are exploited in the party’s state unit by male leaders, and that she has been humiliated within the organisation. The incident took place on Thursday evening when, soon after a function to pay tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Convention Centre in Jammu, BJP member Priya Jaral approached state BJP president Ravinder Raina and urged him to protect “matru shakti’’ (women power).
State Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh, who was standing there, tried to persuade Jaral against making allegations in public, but she insisted on speaking with Raina.
Turning to Raina, Jaral said that he (Raina) used to tell her that she is “matru shakti’’ and “Jhansi ki Rani’’. As an embarrassed Raina tried in vain to persuade her take up the issue with him later, saying “acha nahi lagta, acha nahi lagta’’ (it does not look nice), Jaral responded, “Nehin sir, main thak gayee hoon bol bol ke’’ (No sir, I am tired of raking up the issue repeatedly).”
As Raina, along with other leaders, started moving out of the auditorium, Jaral followed him, saying that Vajpayee used to speak up against women’s exploitation and fight for women. She alleged that there is no respect for women in the party and “they (party’s male leaders) don’t know how to behave with women”.
“I am not that kind of woman (who will remain quiet) — I will raise my voice,’’ she added. When told that she was making a serious charge, she said, “It happens here.”
Jaral alleged that a senior party leader had told her that she will get promoted only if she had “some setting’’ at the senior level of the party, which she dismissed and snubbed that party leader.
Ravinder Raina could not be contacted despite repeated calls on his mobile phone on Friday. Mahila Congress workers held a demonstration Friday and demanded a high-level inquiry by the state government into the allegations.