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BJP sets aside 33% posts for women
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 28, 2008 17:41 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday became the second major party after the Congress to reserve one-third of the posts in the organisational structure for women.
The party noted it was the first leap towards women's quota in legislatures. An amendment in the party constitution was adopted at the BJP National Council meeting in New Delhi, amid showering of flowers and euphoric women leaders rushing to dais to garland senior leaders Lal Kishenchand Advani and Rajnath Singh.
"This will be implemented in three months but the all powerful parliamentary board is exempted from the quota for women," senior leader Sushma Swaraj said.
Once implemented, the 81-member national executive of the party will have 27 women leaders in it compared to the present 13. The national women cell chief will now be a member of the central election committee while state presidents will be part of their respective state election committees.
Introducing the measure at the meeting, Swaraj said this would be recorded in the Indian political history as the first leap towards women's reservation. "Whenever one would talk of women's reservation the contribution of BJP would be recorded undisputedly," she said.
But minutes after the amendment was adopted, senior male leaders were heard making scathing comments on the so-called progressive step of the party.
Though party president Rajnath Singh and Swaraj were delighted that the party had taken a bold step, there were some leaders who tried to block the move.
According to insiders, Swaraj wanted to push a proposal that every three years the party would be headed by a woman but it was opposed within the committee.
(With inputs from PTI)