Behind every successful man is a woman, goes the popular saying.
“Nalin Mehta, political scientist and author who extensively researched the topic for his recent book The New BJP, says the party began its women’s outreach in 1980 when it formed a women’s wing.
“The BJP had some important and powerful female leaders then and it made significant promises on women-specific issues, but not many women voted for the BJP for decades afterwards. The party was largely seen as dominated by patriarchal men and held little appeal for women.”
The big change that happened in 2019 at the national level, he says, can be traced back to 2007 when Mr Modi made a bid for re-election as the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat.
It was the first time, Mr Mehta says, that Mr Modi”extensively courted women” – earning the moniker of “India’s unlikeliest sex symbol”.
“Mr Modi has often been heard saying that we are building a welfare network which takes care of women from the cradle to the grave. The schemes are not perfect but they are definitely making a difference,” Mr Mehta says.
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This article was first published on bbc.com | April 19, 2022