NEW DELHI: Given the BJP’s impetus on women-centric schemes, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are likely to have more women candidates as the saffron party prepares to retain power in the three poll-bound states.
It is also in line with the BJP’s ground reports that suggest high chances of women candidates winning the polls. “Since women have been beneficiaries of several schemes of the Central government, the BJP could be fielding more of them in the elections in Rajasthan, MP, and Chhattisgarh.
The BJP is also running election campaign on the theme that the NDA government seeks to qualitatively improve the lives of women,” said a senior BJP functionary.
Sources said a significantly large number of women workers have already staked claims for contesting the elections. Also, a good number of sitting MLAs, sources added, are pitching for their wives and daughters after getting a hint that BJP national president Amit Shah is not in favour of granting nominations to many incumbent legislators.
BJP workers have spearheaded the ‘Gram Swarajya’ campaign under which the benefits of several entitlement schemes were ensured for the people in rural areas.
“Schemes like Ujjwala with free LPG connections, Mission Indradhanush for immunisation of mothers and children, increased monetary support to pregnant and lactating women, enhanced monetary compensations to AASHA workers are meant for women, who have also benefitted greatly from the Swachh Bharat Mission,” said the BJP functionary.
“Ground reports prepared by booth-level workers suggest women will be more likely to vote for us than men.”
The BJP, the sources said, also closely evaluated electoral success of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has carved out a strong support base among the women through state-funded schemes. Also, Nitish had earned major support from women after he introduced a prohibition law two years ago.
“The electoral trend indicates that women are more likely to come to vote than men due to a host of reasons,” said the BJP functionary.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have been making it evident in their speeches that they are addressing women empowerment through the Central schemes. The Modi government asserts that the Jan Dhan scheme has ensured the financial inclusion of women in a big way, besides offering them a platform to benefit from various programmes.