AICC Gen Sec Transgender Apsara Reddy Inaugurates ‘Mahila Adhikar Yatra’ in City
Mangaluru: The District Women’s Congress held a campaign for reservation for women, “Mahila Adhikara Yatra”, demanding 33% reservation for women which flagged off from the District Congress Bhavan on February 26.
The yatra started from the District Congress Bhavan Mallikatta and culminated at the Kadri grounds where a stage programme was held.
The programme began with an invocation. The programme was inaugurated by the AICC General secretary Apsara Reddy (first transgender woman to be appointed as the General Secretary by the AICC president Rahul Gandhi). District Women’s Congress president Shalet Pinto welcomed the gathering.
Addressing the gathering District minister in-charge U T Khader said, “I would like to congratulate the organizers for holding this yatra. I would like to tell you that you don’t fight for 33% reservation, you will get 50% reservation in the Congress. This time if you will not get the reservation then contest the elections in the general category. In the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi has already assured to give opportunities to women. Don’t wait for reservations but work from the booth-level and strengthen the party. This time our aim should be to make Rahul Gandhi the prime minister of this country.”
Addressing the gathering Apsara Reddy said, “My entry into the Congress party is a huge validation for me. As a transgender woman there are many issues, I have faced harsh, cruel discrimination in my life. Many cruel and harsh judgments were made about me by society. But when I met Rahul Gandhi, he said, Gender is not an issue, talent and skills are important. To serve the people of India your thoughts and intentions should be clear. To work in public service does not require any gender. I have met many leaders after joining the Congress and have travelled to many places throughout the country.”
Apsara further said, “PM Modi has a scheme for Beti Bachao Beti Padavo. Women’s voices are very important in this country and for those voices to be empowered, education is very much important. But the allocation per child in that scheme is only 5 paise. Do our daughters, sisters deserve only 5 paise? Modi spends 56% of the scheme for self-promotion. Do we need such a person as our Prime minister? It is the time to remove Narendra Modi and make Rahul Gandhi as our prime minister. We need a person who works for the country and Rahul is the perfect candidate to become the Prime minister.”
Recalling the statement by the State BJP Mahila Morcha President Bharati Shetty, Apsara also said, “I am very disturbed about the statement made by Bharati Shetty, “Women do not need equality nor political position”. Shame on that woman, after enjoying the power and being power hungry and sitting in that position she can speak in such a way against women. All of you should request Yeddyurappa to remove that woman from the party. If women don’t raise their voices, no one will raise the voice for you. All the women should raise their voices against that woman and each one of you should fight a good fight. We want a better government in the centre in this elections.”
Addressing the gathering KPCC Women’s president Pushpa Amarnath said, “Even though there are 50% Women in our country, women do not get equal opportunities in politics. In the local administration, Corporation, Gram Panchayat, Taluk Panchayat, Zilla Panchayat women have 50% reservation which the state Congress has given. In the last Lok Sabha elections manifesto, the BJP had said that within 100 days of coming to power they would give reservation to women. But it’s almost five years now and women still did not get the reservation. Modi has cheated women saying that he will pass the reservation bill within 100 days of coming to power. Women are working equally in all sectors. If women will get political power the country will develop. In the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha women should get 33% reservation”.
Pushpa further said, “We women have started our campaign, and we will get on to the streets to demand our rights. According to the constitution, women should be given equal rights, but the politicians are snatching our rights by not giving us the reservation. In this Lok Sabha elections, we need to teach a befitting lesson to BJP. All the women should unite and fight for reservation so that we will get equal rights.”
AICC Secretary Vishnunath and AICC General Secretary Janet D’Souza also spoke on the occasion. Former district minister in-charge Ramanath Rai, MLA Sowmya Reddy, Former MLAs J R Lobo, Shakunthala Shetty and Moideen Bava, District Youth Congress president Mithun Rai, DCC president and MLC Harish Kumar, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Kripa Amar Alva, Mamatha Gatti, Kavitha Sanil and others were also present.