Himansu Shekhar Rout

Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) which has been asserting to wrest power from the Biju Janata Dal(BJD) has set its sight on women voters, believed to be the core strength of the ruling party.

In a bid to win this segment of voters to its side, the BJP is going to organise a massive Mahila Samavesh (women’s congregation) at Bhubaneswar on February 10 and it will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his visit to Sambalpur on February 3.  

The back-to-back visits of the Prime Minister have reportedly boosted the morale of the party leaders and workers in the state. 

President of the Odisha BJP Manmohan Samal said that the Prime Minister has consented to attend the Mahila Samavesh. 

The BJP has planned to gather nearly 25,000 women from 14 states including Odisha at the Samavesh while another similar convention was planned in Madhya Pradesh  

As part of its strategies, the BJP is sincerely focusing on four categories of voters on the principle of GYAN: Garib, Youth, Annadatta(farmers) and Nari(women). 

The BJP has drawn up strategies to break into the BJD’s women vote bank. Recently, the party organised Shakti Vandan workshop where over 700 Shakti Sathis were imparted training in the presence of Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and the president of party's state unit Manmohan Samal.     

The party has also planned to reach out to people by organising Shakti Vandan Sammilanis at the panchayat level and Shakti Kendras in the coming days. Shakti Sathis will apprise women of various issues related to the plan of 33 per cent reservation for them, facilities being provided to SHG members and all schemes and welfare programmes of the Central government.

Recently, National Vice President of the BJP and National in-charge of the BJP Mahila Morcha Baijayant Panda along with state unit president Manmohan Samal reviewed the strategies at a meeting of Mahila Morcha at the party office. 

As per reports, there are 3.32 crore voters in Odisha while 50 per cent of them are women voters. About 70 lakh women are members of 6.2 lakh SHGs under Mission Shakti. The BJP is reportedly focusing on these SHG women through Shakti Vandan programme. 

President of the BJP's state unit, Manmohan Samal said, ”At least 25,000 women from 14 states will take part in the Mahila Samavesh at Bhubaneswar on February 10. The Prime Minister has given his consent to attend the meeting.” 

Also Read: Around 1.5 lakh attendance expected at PM Modi's public meeting in Sambalpur: Odisha BJP chief 

However, the BJD questioned the contribution of the BJP towards women. “What is the contribution of those who have organised Mahila Samavesh? Late Biju Babu has given the slogan ‘Maa Ku Samman, Gaon ku kama’(honour to women and development of the villages.). The BJD is working on the slogan. The Mahila Samavesh will have no impact on women voters,” said BJD MLA Sudhir Samal. 

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, ”The BJP’s programmes involving the Prime Minister are aimed at the women vote bank of the BJD. It is very clear.”

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  • SOUMYA RANJAN SAHOO
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