Targeting the Congress government in Rajasthan over crimes against women, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje said on Sunday that when atrocities and injustice reach their peak, it's time for women to step forward.
"When gods were helpless, the Mother Goddess became Mahishasur Mardini and killed Mahishasura. Women transform into 'Chandi' to protect their self-respect," Raje said at a Matrushakti Samagam programme organised by Dharma Raksha Samiti.
"Today, we hear news of women being insulted at every turn; they are being raped. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that now 'Matrushakti' will have to take action," she added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that for as long as history remembers, women have had to endure not just physical but also mental torture. "But there is a limit to tolerance."
This address comes ahead of the Rajasthan state assembly elections scheduled for later this year. Parties have yet to announce their candidates for the forthcoming elections. As part of the election campaign, the BJP launched four Parivartan Yatras in Rajasthan. Raje was present at the launch of all four yatras. However, she kept her distance from public rallies and other events during these journeys. Moreover, Raje was absent from the BJP's yatra in Jhalawar district, a region she has represented politically for 33 years. Raje has been an elected representative from Jhalawar in the Lok Sabha and later served as an MLA from the Jhalrapatan constituency. Although the yatra received a significant public response, Raje's absence remained unexplained.
The yatra covered 47 assembly constituencies during a 1,847-km tour, including seven in Jaipur city. It will culminate with a public meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jaipur on Monday. All BJP Members of the Legislative Assembly from the city participated in the yatra.
Ahead of the prime minister's visit, Raje praised Prime Minister Modi for the Women's Reservation Bill, passed in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha last week. She said it has been a "long-standing issue."
According to a report by India Today, Raje stated during the rally that she would not leave Rajasthan and would continue to serve the state and its people. The programme saw significant participation from women who also tied a "raksha sutra" on Raje's wrist.
"This raksha sutra tied to my wrist is more than just a thread; it symbolises an unbreakable bond of faith, a representation of women's power and the hope of Rajasthan," Raje stated.
The Nari Shakti Vandan Act, which will reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, received unanimous approval from the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The bill now requires approval from a majority of state assemblies. It will be implemented following a delimitation exercise to redraw parliamentary and assembly constituencies based on a census, which the government has announced will be commissioned next year.
(With agency inputs)