Senior BJP leader and Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said it was regrettable that there was not even a single woman general secretary in the new team recently announced by party president Rajnath Singh. There are 10 general secretaries in the newly-constituted Team Rajnath.
Speaking at a function where Durg MP Saroj Pandey formally took over as party’s Mahila Morcha chief, Sushma batted for more political participation for women, and said that they often had to battle a patriarchal mindset to move up in the party set up.
“I have registered my protest at the non-inclusion of women in the team of general secretaries. Now, it’s up to the party president to take corrective action,” she said.
Although the BJP takes pride in the fact that it has implemented 33 per cent reservation for women in party posts -- effected during Rajnath’s previous term as party president -- Sushma said that women, even in the BJP, were often at the receiving end during ticket distribution.
Sushma, who only recently said that she would strive to get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed in Parliament, said in a lighter vein, that henceforth she -- along with other women party leaders -- would “return” the party candidates’ list to the leadership “if there are not enough women in the list”.
Sushma is one of the only two members on the BJP’s 19-member Central Election Committee that has the final word on candidates’ selection. Party’s Mahila Morcha chief Saroj Pandey is invited to the panel as ex-offico member.
The party may not have even one woman general secretary, but it has five women vice-presidents out of its total 13 vice-presidents, eight women secretaries out of total 15 secretaries, and two women spokespersons out of seven total spokespersons.