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Cut bhashan, promote action, Siddaramaiah to Modi on women’s issues

Agencies: Dubbing as ‘tokenism’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with BJP women workers on women power on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked him to learn from his state on the subject and to “cut bhashan (speech) and promote action.”

The chief minister, in a series of tweets, listed out various initiatives of his government for women. “Tokenism Modi ji. Real empowerment comes from real policies. on Thursday, you ridiculed a candle light march to protest against defenders of child rapists in Kathua & today you pretend to care for Mahila Shakti,” he said in a tweet in response to Modi’s comments about important portfolios to women in his cabinet.

Reaching out to women ahead of the May 12 assembly polls through his address to Karnataka BJP Mahila Morcha workers via ‘Narendra Modi App’, earlier in the day said capable women had been given important portfolios in his cabinet.

He also pointed at two group photos of Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers at SCO summit held in China, where Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman representing India, were the only women. Siddaramaiah, who asked Modi to learn from Karnataka how it is done, in another tweet, said his government has made education free for girls from class 1 to Post Graduation.

“Bengaluru, the city you ridiculed on Thursday, leads the nation with 25 per cent women’s participation in the workforce. In Delhi, the city you live in, the rate is 10 per cent. We must be doing something right,” he said. In a full-scale attack on the Siddaramaiah government on city-related issues, Modi had on Thursday said that within five five years it had turned Bengaluru, which was known as the country’s ‘Silicon Valley’, into “a valley of sin”, and the ‘garden city’ to “garbage city”.

Claiming that his government’s ‘Matrupoorna’ programme gives mid-day meal to 10 lakh pregnant and lactating mothers so that motherhood is safe and the child is healthy,the Chief Minister said the government amended the law to make child marriage void ab initio; it also gives free bus passes to all students, half of whom are girls.

Siddaramaiah said the government was giving loans to women entrepreneurs at four percent interest, set up industrial parks exclusively for women and also received an international award for being the best state for women entrepreneurs. “We give a revolving fund of Rs 25,000 per group to women SHG (self-help group),” he said.

Also pointing to economic empowerment programs for sex workers, HIV+ women, transgenders and introduction of Pink Hoysala Vehicles for emergency response in Bengaluru city, Siddaramaiah said “There are many more. Dear@narendramodi ji let us cut Bhashan & promote Action.”

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