Ahmedabad: That women are smitten by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) PM candidate Narendra Modi is a long-known fact, but party spokesperson Smriti Irani insists the attraction is because he is a man of action and not merely a persona.
“Gone are the days of Rajiv Gandhi who said, ‘Hum dekhenge, sochenge, karenge’. Modi says things are happening here (in Gujarat); and women appreciate it. It’s not an emotional appeal, it’s logical and action oriented.”
Irani was speaking on the sidelines of felicitating women at BJP’s Khanpur office in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The event was organised by Gujarat BJP’s IT Cell purportedly to sensitise women professionals on the use of social media. However, with a blend of urban and rustic dames boxed in a room at the Khanpur office, the topic of social media is unlikely to have been core point of discussion.
Dressed in heavy silks and synthetics, topped with crisp make-up and sharp fragrances, the women in stilettos were seen craning their necks to get a glimpse of the erstwhile telly-star ‘Tulsi Virani’.
Talking to the media earlier, Irani guffawed at repeated questions about her contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Gujarat and avoided a direct answer on LK Advani’s opposition to Modi’s elevation as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
“No one is unhappy about the announcement. Rajnathji (Singh) had said earlier today that everyone is happy. The announcement is for the (BJP) cadre, by the cadre and for the nation,” she insisted.
Wooing the women electorate with a targeted focus has been Modi camp’s strategy for a while now and the seminar on Sunday afternoon was only the latest of those efforts. “I returned from a crowded women’s event in Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh) yesterday (on Saturday)."
"Women are a loyal electorate. It is a misconception that they do not make their own choices but are influence by the male members of family,” said Irani, also a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat.
“Two years ago, I had organised a gathering of about 25 women from different states to Gujarat. After touring the state, they sat across the table and Modi sought their feedback on what’s right and what’s not."
"The ladies were very happy and they gave very constructive feedback to Modi, who listened to them very attentively and perhaps, even implemented it. People think when women meet all they talk about is women’s reservation and social issues."
"Be it urban or rural areas, women have productive inputs on economic issues, current account deficit, security issues, education, corruption et al,” said the one-time telly superstar, with ease and confidence that is rarely spotted in BJP’s Gujarat office.