Reaching out to women entrepreneurs at the FICCI’s Ladies Organisation (FLO) meeting, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said the growth of the country could be accelerated only with the help of “women power.”
Citing several private and cooperative enterprises run by women, Modi said women who have a role in the decision-making process can become the driving force of social and economic progress. “Women power can change the future of the country,” he told a packed audience.
In his much publicised address, days after Rahul Gandhi’s speech at the CII annual general body, Modi criticised the practice of female foeticide and violence against women. Modi’s speech is seen as yet another effort by him to reach out to a national audience.
He claimed that measures such as handing over the deeds of houses built for earthquake victims in the name of the eldest woman in a family, waiving stamp duty for properties owned by women and making it compulsory for the mother’s name to be added in the school register while enrolling a child, have helped in changing the mindset of people in the State.
He said special grants were being given to panchayats governed by women members.
He urged companies to make women the heads of their corporate social responsibility activities. “They will give you fresh ideas,” Modi said. He asked FLO to publish reports of women entrepreneurs so that others could draw inspiration from them.
Taking a dig at the Congress, he said what his Government has done in Gujarat was just filling the potholes created by the earlier Congress regimes. “We have now created a level playing field. The real development is yet to come,” he said.
Modi sought the “blessings” of women for his future endeavours. A section in the BJP is projecting Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Modi has been maintaining that his model of development in Gujarat could be replicated in other States and at the national level.
The Congress said even the BJP will not accept Modi as a leader.
“Somebody will have to surely fill up the deep chasm, he has created,” Congress General Secretary, Janardan Dwivedi, said. “I will reply to all questions on what has been said by the BJP. I do not want to take the name of a person on whose name there is no consensus even within the BJP,” Dwivedi added.