Shaina NC, the BJP’s high-profile spokesperson in Maharashtra, has hit out at “male chauvinists” in mainstream political parties, including her own, for denying adequate representation to women during distribution of tickets for the Lok Sabha elections.
“All political parties need to wake up. Women are 50 percent (of) the electorate. Upset and appalled to know that other than @MamataOfficial who has given 41 percent and @Naveen_Odisha who has given 33 percent to women candidates all other parties only pay lip service to our cause..... We want to be known for our competence & our ability to raise the common concern of crores of Indian women who go unnoticed,” Shaina said on Twitter.
According to sources in the BJP here, Shaina has been one of the contenders for a ticket from Mumbai in the last two Lok Sabha elections but had been overlooked for other candidates.
After the Shiv Sena announced that it would go it alone for the Lok Sabha elections, BJP leaders had indicated that Shaina would front the BJP against the Congress party’s Milind Deora in South Mumbai.
All political parties need to wake up. Women are 50 percent or the electorate. Upset and appalled to know that other than @MamataOfficial who has given 41 percent and @Naveen_Odisha who has given 33 percent to women candidates all other parties only pay lip service to our cause. pic.twitter.com/ZKVriLlvLS— Shaina NC (@ShainaNC) March 31, 2019
But after both the parties patched up, the BJP has backed sitting MP Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena in South Mumbai.
Out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats being contested by the BJP, the party has fielded seven women.
Though this amounts to 28 per cent representation for women, most of them are related to powerful male leaders in the BJP.
These include Raksha Khadse, daughter-in-law of senior party leader Eknath Khadse, Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late Pramod Mahajan and sitting MP from Mumbai, and Pritam Munde, daughter of the late Gopinath Munde.
Shaina told a newspaper that whenever a question of a woman’s candidature was taken up, questions were raised about her winnability or her ability to raise funding — unless she was someone’s daughter or daughter-in-law.
She went on to say that the Trinamool Congress and the Biju Janata Dal implemented or exceeded the 33 per cent reservation for women candidates in the Lok Sabha elections because they were single-leader parties.
The BJP has since gone into damage control mode after Shaina’s remarks on Twitter was taken up by television channels and social media.
Shaina has refused to comment on the incident amidst talk that the party has gagged her.
Shaina NC, a South Mumbai-based fashion designer, is the daughter of the late Nana Chudasama who was the sheriff of Mumbai.