BJP Mahila Morcha leader alleges misconduct by party leaders

In a viral video on YouTube, a member of Jammu & Kashmir BJP Mahila Morcha is heard berating BJP leadership for exploiting women and promoting undeserving members as leaders

Photo courtesy: social media 
Photo courtesy: social media

Ashutosh Sharma

A Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha executive member has set the cat among the pigeons by accusing party leaders inviting women workers to hotel rooms and promising party posts to them.

Soon after state party president Ravinder Raina ended his tribute to late Atal Bihari Vajpayee at an all party meeting held in the BJP headquarters in Jammu, a woman identified as Priya Jaral caught him by surprise by loudly claiming, “You would always hail me as manifestation of ‘Matri Shakti’ and ‘Jhansi ki Rani’. You would seek to put the dust from my feet to apply it on your forehead.”

“I am tired of complaining time and again,” she further says aloud as Raina tries to coax her into silence.

Former Health Minister of the state Bali Bhagat and Jammu Bar Association President BS Salathia, who was at the forefront of lawyers’ protest in Jammu against arrest of accused in Kathua rape and murder case, can also be seen in the video as they placate her.

Even as she touches her party chief’s feet with both hands, she is heard pleading with him to listen to her. “Committed women party workers are feeling suffocated and marginalised as party leaders are projecting only those women who they invite to their hotel rooms. Only those women who enter their hotel rooms come out as party leaders,” she declares.

While BJP leaders and activists maintained a studied silence, members of the audience looked visibly shocked at her allegations.

Coming out of the convention centre, Priya spoke to local media on camera and alleged that a leader, who she did not name, had asked her to get in touch with top party leaders if she wanted to move up the ladder. “I told him to look at my slippers and threatened to thrash him with my slippers,” she says. Claiming to have raised the issue in party fora, she complains that party leaders would never listen to her and would always dismiss her complaints as ‘trivial”.

“Should we progress in the party by sacrificing our self-respect and dignity ? Is this our culture? And the party (BJP) stresses on bringing more women into its fold.”

Claiming that she has devoted several years to the service of BJP, she further says, “I’ve always told party leadership not to elevate those women in the party who take short-cut routes to growth but no one listens to me.”

Asked to name the BJP leaders who made the offer to her, she says: “I’ve a daughter. So I have been advised to remain silent as they can pose any threat to our lives.”

Commenting on BJP’s slogan, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Priya retorts: “The gap between preaching and practice is as distant as between the earth and the sky.”

She also claims that she wanted to bring certain things in the notice of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti—when there was PDP-BJP coalition government in the state—but was not allowed by her party. “Now I want to tell everything to Narendra Modi and see what action does he take against wrong doers in the party’s state unit.”

The tribute function was attended by MLAs from other political parties such as Sajjad Lone and Devinder Singh Rana as well. Even though BJP had sent invites to all the parties, the Congress and PDP leaders chose to stay away.

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