Cong turns to tulsi, turmeric, vermilion to woo women

Cong turns to tulsi, turmeric, vermilion to woo women

In a bid to counter the BJP's Hindutva plank, the Congress has started distributing Tulsi saplings along with turmeric and vermilion to households as part of its 'Mane Manege Congress' poll outreach campaign.

Tulsi - considered a holy plant - had reached several homes in Bengaluru even as the Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee, at its state executive committee meeting on Saturday, resolved that the basil plant should be distributed in all 224 Assembly constituencies.

"Are they (BJP) the only ones who worship Saraswati and Satyanarayana? Let's go door-to-door with a deepa (lamp), arishina (turmeric) and kumkuma (vermilion)," KPCC president G Parameshwara said after inaugurating the executive committee meeting.

It was also resolved to organise women's Congress conferences in northern and southern parts of the state and to conduct grama vastavya (village stay) in each Assembly constituency.

Parameshwara announced that the party was ready to reserve 33% tickets for women in the next election if enough of them came forward to contest.

"Only 10 women applied for tickets during the 2013 Assembly election. What can the party do if women shy away from entering the fray," he asked, adding that the party had made it mandatory for at least three women to be appointed in booth committees.

AICC women's wing president Sushmita Dev said the party will win more than 121 seats in Gujarat elections scheduled in December. "The party won 121 seats in Karnataka last time. We will exceed this number in Gujarat. This is my challenge to the BJP. If I lose, I will not step into Karnataka to campaign for the party," Dev said, mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that his "Gujarat model of development" had failed.

MLC Jayamala raised eyebrows when she said Congress could be defeated only from those within and not those in the opposition, warning party leaders of possible attempts of sabotage ahead of the polls. "Only Congress can defeat Congress," she said. Curiously, she said the party can remain undefeated if Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara and Energy Minister D K Shivakumar worked together.

MLC Rani Satish took a dig at the party leadership by saying beauty should not be the criterion while giving tickets to women. "All women who are capable of winning must be given tickets," she said.

DH News Service

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