‘With reservations, women will change patriarchal mindset of society’, says Delhi Mahila Morcha president
Women’s reservation is not a family matter. It needs thorough deliberation. Some procedure needs to be followed, she added.
NEW DELHI: With Parliament clearing the Women’s Reservation Bill, Ujwal Jalali speaks to Richa Pandey Mishra, president of the Mahila Morcha of BJP in Delhi, to find out the party’s stand on issues faced by women, the tussle with Aam Aadmi Party, among others.
Q. It took 27 years for the Lok Sabha to clear the Women’s Reservation Bill. Please share your thoughts.
Time has changed and women are making their mark in all fields — be it science, business, or the Army. In politics, women are more assertive. They raise pertinent issues, debate and fight for their rights. So, their number needs to be adequate in Parliament. All these factors have put pressure on parliamentarians to re-introduce the Bill. With reservations, women will change the patriarchal mindset of society.
Q. Rahul Gandhi has underscored the need for OBC reservation. Do you agree with him?
The OBC reservation is a separate issue that needs to be dealt with in Parliament under the provisions of the Constitution. The women’s reservation is a separate bill. It stands separately and independently.
Q. The Opposition wants the bill to be implemented before the 2024 general election, but the government says it is not possible before 2029.
Since the Modi government came to power, the Opposition has repeatedly asked for specific dates… Tareekh batao (tell the date)… for Ram Mandir, Article 370… and the government has fulfilled all the promises.
Women’s reservation is not a family matter. It needs thorough deliberation. Some procedure needs to be followed. There were so many committees formed in all these years, besides the bureaucracy has also been involved. It takes time. Now, the Bill has the parliamentary clearance. The census and the delimitation exercises have to commence. Once these are complete, the bill will be implemented.
Q. What is Delhi BJP Mahila Morcha doing at the ground level for women?
We believe in 'Antyodyaya' (welfare of the weakest). In the last nine years, we saw Narendra Modi ji rolling out various schemes, of which 15 are women-centric, including Rasoi Gas Yojna, Poshan Yojna and Beti Padhao Beti Bachao Yojna. The Delhi BJP Mahila wing is playing the role of the opposition in the city while implementing these schemes. We are making the people aware of the schemes. They visit the ground and educate 'labharthis' (women beneficiaries). Moreover, we take their pictures and share them with the Prime Minister's app. We help them in getting the required certificates.
Q. The police are under Centre's control. What is being done for women's safety?
The police are indeed under the home ministry in the city. The ministry has initiated police reforms and imparted training and allocated funds. Large amounts of funds have been allocated to Delhi. Infrastructure has been developed and the city is now well lit. We keep highlighting the grey areas. For basic needs such as clean drinking water, and electricity, we address them at the local level.
Q. AAP has always targeted the Centre for the rise in crime in Delhi…
When protests took place during the Nirbhaya case, did they (AAP workers) know that the Sheila Dikshit government did not control the law & order situation? At that time a narrative was built as if she was responsible for the case. Law and order is linked to social issues. Crime against women also occurs in families, homes and mohallas. What are they (AAP) doing? They created Mohalla Sabhas, Lokayukta… where is Lokayukts? They talked about marshals… panic buttons… where are they? They are just running a fake show for the sake of elections. I was with AAP a few years back. I quit when I realized that they were not delivering and that they had no intention to deliver.
Q. What is your strategy for general elections?
The BJP vote bank is intact. From 30% we rose to 34% in the last election. Congress votes have shifted to AAP. If the Congress was in the picture, then AAP wouldn't have won. The BJP, by its development-oriented work, is trying to win the hearts of those who once voted for Congress. The criminalisation of triple talaq and the direct benefit transfer facility has helped the underprivileged. Voters will choose BJP.