At Rahul's all-female convention, men outnumber women

At Rahul's all-female convention, men outnumber women

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tried to make an impassioned speech on his pet subject, the empowerment of women, at the women’s equal rights convention here on Sunday. Ironically, there were more men than women among the audience.

At his first all-women convention, the irony was not lost out on the Congress scion who conceded that male attendees had outnumbered those from the fairer sex. “This is exactly what is happening in the party organisation and also while giving tickets to candidates to contest elections,” he said. The poor turnout also embarrassed the State Congress leaders. The event was organised jointly by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and the party’s women’s wing.

To hold a first-of-its-kind convention, the Congress party chose Tumkur, the district where it has just three MLAs out of eight. Tumkur is the home district of the KPCC president, G Parameshwara, who had lost to a JD(S) candidate in the Assembly elections. T B Jayachandra, the district in-charge minister, was entrusted with organising the event. Supporting the demand for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, Rahul slammed the Opposition parties which, he asserted, “had no respect for women as their ideological structure had no place for the fairer sex”.

“You know what their leaders say and do. I need not elaborate,” he said, in an apparent reference to the BJP and the RSS. Rahul claimed the Congress party had “given primacy” to women in organisation, leadership and administration. It acts on their inputs too, he added. He also said the UPA government’s decision to increase the number of subsidised LPG cylinders from nine to 12 per year was taken in response to demands from women.

The Congress vice president said a stringent law had been passed to punish the culprits of heinous crimes such as rape. Besides, the UPA government has passed laws on RTI, job guarantee (MGNREGA), food security, among others. He also said that 50 per cent reservation had been provided for women in panchayat institutions.

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