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Team Swaraj, Raje, Irani and Munde: Will BJP’s female power sink PM Modi’s ship?



By Prachi Mishra

When Modi government took the office on May 26, 2014, it was widely appreciated for including seven women ministers, six of them with Cabinet rank, a first in any Indian government. These female ministers included the names of veteran leaders like Sushma Swaraj, and some relatively young members like Smriti Irani and Harsimran Kaur Badal.

However, recently some of the female stalwarts of Bhartiya Janata Party have made it to the news for all the wrong reasons.

Here are some of the female political figures of BJP who have run into trouble in the recent past:

Sushma Swaraj

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: IANS)
Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: IANS)Sushma Swaraj

The Union External Affairs Minister was recently involved in a controversy for allegedly aiding corruption-accused former IPL Chief Lalit Modi in getting travel documents to travel outside UK, after his Indian passport was revoked.

Swaraj received flak from the opposition parties, with Congress demanding her resignation.

The External Affairs Minister, meanwhile, took to Twitter to clarify. She said she helped to go out of India on “humanitarian ground” to meet his cancer-afflicted wife who was to undergo surgery in 2013.


Vasundhara Raje

raje_lalit2The Rajasthan Chief Minister was also entangled in the Modi- Gate, with Lalit Modi admitting to being helped by “family friend” Vasundhara  Raje.

Raje was hit by the controversy following revelation apparently made in  a statement released by Lalit Modi’s legal team.

The statement said that Raje, who was then the Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan assembly, said she was in favour of Modi’s immigration application but on the strict condition that her name will not be revealed to the Indian authorities.

Smriti Irani

Smriti-Irani-621x414Allegations were raised against Human Resources Development Minister, Smriti Irani for her fake educational qualifications in affidavits filed with the Election Commission.

Irani became the centre of a raging controversy because of her slippery statements that involved the mention of Yale University. Following the speculations, PM Narendra Modi’s brother Prahlad demanded a probe into her degrees.

This row over Irani’s educational qualifications was finally taken to the court. The trial court had decided to declare the verdict in this case on June 24, 2015. The final decision will be out on August 28.

Pankaja Munda

pankaja-mundes-goal-maharashtra-cms-postThe daughter of late senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde is accused of allegedly defying norms in a Rs 206-crore order she was placed as Maharashtra’s Women and Child Development Minister.

As reported by media outlets, Pankaja allegedly purchased some items for Anganwadi schools in a single day without inviting tenders. The rules require all government acquisitions over Rs 3 lakh to be made through e-tenders.

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Women in Science Largest Minority: Smriti Irani

She further advocated that these translated works of science be given to school children also to develop in them a "love for science"


Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said women in science are the “largest minority” in the country, with only 14 per cent of them contributing to the profession.

She spoke about an inherent gender bias against women in the society, hampering their entry in the highly competitive world of science.

Smriti Irani said this while inaugurating the 8th Women Science Congress — part of the Indian Science Congress — here at the Lovely Professional University, which is hosting both the events.

“While everyone knows that science is gender-neutral, what is not neutral is capacity of women to get scientific opportunity,” she said.

Women in science largest minority: Smriti Irani.

“Of the 2.8 lakh scientists and engineers employed in research and development across the country, women’s number is only 14 per cent… that makes women the largest minority in science,” she added.

The Minister also called for translation of academic journals and papers into regional languages from English.

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“English is the lingua franca of science. But according to census data, 96.7 per cent of the population resorts to 22 scheduled languages,” she said.

She further advocated that these translated works of science be given to school children also to develop in them a “love for science”. (IANS)