NEW DELHI: To counter Opposition attempts to portray the BJP as weak on the issue of women’s safety in the wake of the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, the party is gearing up to hold a dozen women-only rallies, to be addressed by its top women leaders, on a single day in poll-bound Karnataka.
Sources in the BJP said that the party chief had sought women-only rallies at 12 locations in Karnataka on either April 22 or April 24 to counter the Opposition campaign against the saffron outfit.
“Union ministers – Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti – will be addressing the women only rallies in Karnataka. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje will also hold such a rally on the same day in Karnataka,” a source said.
Besides Union ministers, senior BJP leaders, including Lok Sabha MPs—Punam Mahajan and Meenakshi Lekhi – would also be addressing the rallies.
With the Karnataka polls less than a month away, the BJP is growing wary of the Opposition campaign portraying the party as vacillating in taking strong action against the accused in the Unnao and Kathua rape cases. Sources said that the social media campaign on the twin rape cases had dented party’s campaign in the Karnataka elections since the saffron outfit has been trying to make deteriorating law and order in the state a key poll plank.
“The top women leaders of the party who are effective communicators are being given the task to turn the campaign surrounding the rape cases in the party’s favour. The BJP is arming the women leaders with statistics to beef up the argument that the Congress government in Karnataka has seriously compromised on the issue of women’s security. All the rallies to be addressed by the top women leaders will be only for women audience and cover the length and breadth of the poll bound state,” the source added.