With its guiding principle of Antyodaya (rise of the last person of the society or uplifting of the weakest section of the society), steadily the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been pitching for a Sarvodaya (Development of all) Bharat. The recent appointment of Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi as President of BJP Manipur Pradesh is regarded as a landmark move towards Antyodaya and electoral prospect in this iconic state of women empowerment. Sharda is the third woman President of any BJP State Unit in India after Vasundhara Raje Scindia of Rajasthan (2003) and Tamilisai Soundararajan of Tamil Nadu (2014).
Sharda joined BJP as an active member in June of 1995, contested lmphal Municipal Council election and got elected as Councilor. Since then she has been serving the party in various capacities both at the state and national levels, and worked as State Core Committee Member of Manipur from 1998 to 2016 under the Presidency of H Bhuban Singh, M Bhorot Singh, H Borbabu Singh, S Shantikumar Sharma and Th Chaoba Singh. She also took an active role in the expansion of BJP in Manipur and other Northeastern states of India.
In a tête-à-tête Sharda thanked the national leadership of BJP for following the philosophy of Antyodaya and entrusting her with the responsibility of leading the party in Manipur.
‘As a woman, I would like to thank national leadership of my party for reposing their trust in me and the woman community of Manipur at large. Manipur is the only place in the World where women played an important role in socio-political-economic, art and cultural aspects of life. It (her appointment as BJP president of Manipur) is a landmark resolution of BJP and victory for all nupi samaj (women community) of our state Manipur,’ Sharda told this Correspondent during the interview.
“BJP is the only political party in the country that acknowledges the qualities of women- honesty, sincerity and nobility and gives due part in decision making both in the organisation as well as in governance. I am proud of myself as a member of this world largest political party.”
Empowerment of women:
Since the stint of Atal Bihari Vajpayee- our founder national president who later became the Prime Minister of this country, all our forces are exerted towards serving the subjugated sections of the society including women. Apart from various welfare schemes for women on nutrition, health, economy and education, Atal Ji and Modi ji has enabled to create an ecosystem for women empowerment in India for the first time and changed the long standing perceptions on women.
“We believe in betterment for all and never ever stopped efforts to uplift the downtrodden. My appointment as President of Manipur Pradesh is not seen only as empowerment of women but rather see it as Antyodaya”.
“The whole world is studying the courage and role of Manipuri women in social, political, economic development and sports arena as a model of women empowerment. Women in Manipur deserved to be at the topmost rung of the society, and my appointment is also the expression of respect and honour by BJP to Manipuri woman”
Politics and women:
Politics is a platform to serve the people, we need a strong platform to deliver our services to the society and BJP is the strongest platform to do so. Women are inherent with managerial and organisational skills and should not shy away from politics, Sharda opined.
The BJP-led Central Government has 11 women as Union Ministers, the highest number of women in the Union Council of Ministers in 17 years. In Manipur, the party will also ensure the increase of women MLA from the present 2, the first women President of BJP, Manipur Unit announced while inviting womenfolk of the state to join BJP and serve the people.
Vision for 2022 Assembly election in Manipur:
Manipur is gearing up for the upcoming 2022 state legislative assembly election which is likely to be held in the early part of March. BJP and its allies formed the government for the first time in 2017 and the party is optimistic of repeating the success and forming the government for the second time in Manipur.
BJP has delivered a remarkable citizen-centric and corruption free government in Manipur. For the first time in the state, the present state government has been successful in bringing peace and communal harmony and in delivering government services at the doorsteps of the citizens.
“Our mission is 40 plus seats in 2022 and to deliver an absolute majority. BJP has a good rapport with allies in the state and definitely NDA will form the government in 2022 again,” the BJP unit President confided in parting.