Uplifting its core belief of the nation first and acknowledging the importance of women in nation-building, BJP is making women an active participant in the political arena.
From 37 million free LPG connections to women of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families to landmark women-centric decisions, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has set a benchmark for women's empowerment in the country. BJP's Nirmala Sitharaman became the first full-time female Finance Minister of India and the second Defence Minister in Independent India. Granting of Permanent Commission to women officers of Short Service Commissioned (SSC) in the Indian Army is another gift from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to women in this country.
Party With A Difference
Unlike other political parties like Indian National Congress (INC), owned by a single Nehru-Gandhi family, or Mamata Banerjee owned All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), the BJP has made a reputation of giving more powers and responsibilities to women in governance and politics.
Uplifting its core belief of the nation first and acknowledging the importance of women in nation-building, BJP is making the women of Northeastern states an active participant in the political arena.
Recently, the party sent S Phangnon Konyak, President of BJP Nagaland Unit's Mahila Morcha, to New Delhi as a Member of Parliament (MP) Rajya Sabha. S Phangnon Konyak was elected unopposed for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Nagaland, where the State Assembly has no woman MLA. Making Konyak the first woman from Nagaland to enter the Upper House of the Parliament is the sign of the BJP as 'The Party with a Difference'.
Champion of North-East
BJP has the highest number of women legislatures in the Northeastern states of India. In Arunachal Pradesh, the party has Gum Tayeng (MLA of Dambuk), Dasanglu Pul (MLA of Hayuliang) and Jummum Ete Deori (MLA of Lekang).
Notably, the party has also three women legislators in Assam. BJP MLA Ajanta Neog has been representing the Golaghat seat since 2001. The BJP government in Assam made her the first woman Finance Minister of the state. Suman Haripriya was elected as MLA from Hajo consecutively for the second time, and Nandita Garlosa was elected as MLA from the Haflong seat for the first time.
In Manipur, the BJP fielded Nemcha Kipgen, Soraisam Kebi Devi, and SS Olish as MLAs candidates in the elections. Nemcha Kipgen, the most experienced among the three women candidates, retained her Kangpokpi seat consecutively for three terms. At the same time, the first-timers SS Olish and Soraisam Kebi Devi won from Chandel and Naoriya Pakhanglakpa seats, respectively. The state has five women MLAs in the 60-seat Legislative Assembly.
Breaking the stereotype of the Mizo patriarchal social system, the BJP fielded the highest number of women candidates (six) in the 2018 Assembly election, while the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) fielded not a single woman candidate from the 40 constituencies of Mizoram.
In Tripura, BJP has Mimi Majumder MLA of Badharghat (SC), Kalyani Roy MLA of Teliamura, Santana Chakma MLA of Pecharthal (ST). While Communist Party of India (M), which ruled the state for 25 years, has only one woman MLA. Besides, the party also has a Lok Sabha MP from Tripura West, Pratima Bhoumik and has given her the Union Minister of State, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Even in the tiny hill state, Sikkim BJP has two women MLAs.
In the organization as well, the party has outshined to keep faith in women. Adhikarimayum Sarda Devi is heading the Manipur unit of the BJP. Under her presidentship, the BJP secured an absolute majority mark of 32 for the first time in the State Assembly election- in 2022.
BJP has the highest number of MLAs (1379) and MPs (301) in India, followed by INC (MLA-690, MP- 53). AITC and Aam Aadmi Party have 233 and 156 MLAs, respectively.
The Myth Unraveled
There is a visible change in the voting pattern of women after the BJP came to power at the Centre, as more women are coming out of their homes to booths in support of the BJP.
The BJP rescued Muslim women from male chauvinism by ending the inhuman practice of triple talaq, delivered free rations to each kitchen in the country during the troubled time of the Coronavirus pandemic. The deadly smoke from firewood is now away from women in the country. They can now breathe clean air after LPG replaced their earlier unhealthy cooking stove with the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Scheme.
In India, girls are now protected even before and after birth with the Modi government's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme. The headache of dowry and marriage expenses have been banished with Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, while Balika Samriddhi Yojana helps them establish their enterprise and stand on their own feet. The result was seen in the recently concluded State Assembly elections-2022 of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, where women exceeded male voter turnout. Women believed in BJP, its policies and welfare schemes. They ensured the success of their favourite party in the four states. Women voting for BJP to power is no more a myth.