Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Amit Chavda lashed out at the BJP government for celebrating Wednesday as Nari Gaurav Divas stating that the BJP leaders who ‘insulted’ its woman leader Anandiben Patel and “removed” her as chief minister, leading events to hail glory of women should feel ashamed.

“When the rulers, who are known for snooping, those who are known to insult women leaders like Anandiben Patel, the first woman chief minister of state, and remove her from her office, are out celebrating five years of their reign, in my view, it is a matter of shame,” the Congress leader said while addressing a press conference in Rajkot on Wednesday.

Patel was elected chief minister of Gujarat in 2014 after Modi was elected Prime Minister. However, she resigned on August 1 amid Patidar quota stir peaking in the state. Vijay Rupani had succeeded Patel and was sworn in as CM of Gujarat on August 7, 2016.

Chavda was in Rajkot to lead a protest march organised by his party to highlight what Congress terms as the failure of the BJP government in empowering women of the state. The protest came on the fourth day of the week-long celebrations by the state government organised in the run up to its fifth anniversary.

“You can only claim to have respected women—who do jobs like making home to shouldering major leadership roles of the society, are rendering service and playing important parts in creating better future—be it Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, those working in the midday meal scheme, or those working in various departments of government on fixed pay, on contract or through outsourcing—only when you pay them according to their work… Anganwadi workers, those working in midday meal schemes and ASHA workers have been fighting for years for regularisation of their services and better pay,” the Congress leader further said.

The Congress president also claimed that the Beti Bachao slogan of the state government sounded hollow. “The way the episode of women being sexually exploited for getting recruited came to light, the way they had to stage protests for 10 days to get their complaint registered and seek justice, and the very government which was not willing to give them a hearing is today talking about being respectful to women. Lakhs and crores have been spent in pasting posters and publicising and advertising Beti Bachao slogan in Gujarat. But in the same Gujarat, the sex ratio is 907 women per 1000 men…” Chavda said.

“To oppose government celebrations and to lend voice to people of various walks of life, Congress has come up with a programme called Mahila Suraksha Abhiyan with the resolve to give women their due place of Shaktiswarupa (incarnation of power) by ensuring their social and economic wellbeing,” the Congress leader said.

Later in the day, Chavda addressed party workers at Nandkishor Hall in Junction Plot area of the city. The party workers and supporters had plans to take out a protest rally from the Nandkishor Hall to Dhebar Chowk but as soon as Chavda and other Congress leaders emerged from the hall, holding placards and banners, they were detained by police. They were taken to Rajkot police headquarters but were released later on.

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