Karnataka polls: Govt 'committed' to women's empowerment, Narendra Modi tells BJP Mahila Morcha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his government's 'complete and comprehensive' commitment to women empowerment while asking workers to focus on winning the polling booth in the upcoming Assembly election in the southern state.

FP Staff May 04, 2018 10:42:16 IST
Karnataka polls: Govt 'committed' to women's empowerment, Narendra Modi tells BJP Mahila Morcha

Interacting with the office bearers and workers of the Karnataka's BJP Mahila Morcha on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his government's "complete and comprehensive" commitment to women empowerment while asking workers to focus on winning the polling booth in the upcoming Assembly election in the southern state.

Speaking via the NaMo mobile app, Modi said women are leading India's growth and development. Giving examples of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the prime minister said, "In the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) meet held recently, both Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman were the only women in leadership roles at the summit. You can look at the photos."

Addressing the upcoming elections in Karnataka, Modi asked the BJP women workers to focus on winning polling booths. "I have always said we have to win the elections, and we will. But, I always request the workers, to win the polling booths. If we do that, nobody can defeat us in the Assembly elections. Where is the victory? It is in the polling booth," he said.

Karnataka polls Govt committed to womens empowerment Narendra Modi tells BJP Mahila Morcha

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

He asked women workers to go to homes and convince women in the family to come out and vote for the saffron party. Praising the women workers' efforts he said, "When a woman convinces people, she does so with simplicity and sincerity. If, in a family, a woman is convinced, the entire family gets convinced."

The prime minister also chastised the Congress and said their "lies and fake promises" have to be exposed. "If the Congress does not spread lies, it'll lose its relevance. We need to expose the hollow promises made by Congress party and urge the people of Karnataka to join the journey of development," he said.

The prime minister also said the BJP government sought to support women at every stage. "India is marching ahead from women development to women-led development. It has always been our effort to give equal opportunity to women. Our government stands solidly to support women at every stage whether they want to become home maker, job seeker or job creator," he said, while adding, "When the contribution of women in the country increases, the development of the country is ensured."

Modi also spoke in detail about the various women-centric schemes launched by his government at the Centre and the impact they have had on the people. Speaking of the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' scheme, he claimed the sex-ratio in gender sensitive districts improved after the initiative was introduced.

"Our first priority was that there should no female infanticide anymore. For that, we started 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' programme, which is helping reduce social evils. This year, on 8 March, this yojana was extended to all districts in the country. Similarly, during pregnancy, we ensure the mother gets nutritious food, medicines, health checkups etc. We have organised 4 lakh free health check-ups, and free vaccination of nearly 10 lakh women and children were done in Karnataka," Modi claimed.

He also spoke about the changes in law over extending maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Modi also mentioned the Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Ujjawala Yojana, Sanjeevini Yojana and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to highlight the Centre's efforts towards women empowerment.

"Under Pradhan Matri Mudra Yojana, 12 crore loans have been allocated out of which more than 70% of the beneficiaries are women. They are not only self-employed but also employing others. About nine crore women have benefitted from the scheme," said Modi.

He also claimed that the Ujjawala scheme helped curb water wastage in rural areas. "The Ujjawala Yojana has also helped in preservation of water in rural areas, as the utensils now are not covered in soot due to cooking on smoke-free LPG stoves," the prime minister claimed.

Addressing women safety, which has been a key electoral issue, Modi said the government has taken measures to tighten existing laws including passing an ordinance demanding death penalty as maximum punishment for rapists of children below 12 years of age. "The government has recently made stringent amendments in laws relating to crimes against women and children, increasing the punishment up to death penalty in some cases," he said adding that the environment in which children grow up, should also project awareness about violence against women.

He urged the Mahila Morcha workers to "go to other women and tell them that BJP government is with them at every step of the way, and will fulfil their dreams. Let women decide the future of Karnataka."

"Whether in the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games, they (women) are rising and making the country proud. They are joining the army and becoming entrepreneurs too. They are moving forward on their own and are a source of inspiration for all of us," he said in conclusion.

Modi is set to address nine more rallies across Karnataka before the state goes to polls on 12 May.

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