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Countries Run by Women Perform Much Better, Their Views on Governance Are Crucial, Says Milind Deora

While Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics has given the Congress a confidence boost, Milind Deora said he doesn’t want the upcoming election to be a battle of personalities.

Simantini Dey | News18.com

Updated:March 16, 2019, 5:53 PM IST
Countries Run by Women Perform Much Better, Their Views on Governance Are Crucial, Says Milind Deora
TV grab of Milind Deora from the exclusive interview to CNN-News18

Mumbai: Stating that women's perspective in governance is important, Milind Deora, who has been named as the Congress' Lok Sabha candidate for South Mumbai constituency, said women's issues will receive its due focus in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to News18, the senior Congress leader said he was counting on the youth of India to take part in the electoral process proactively.

“I don’t think government, whether it is the state, local, BMC or panchayat, see things from the prism of women and my own experience tells me, based on private sector research, and on data in the public sector, that countries, cities, companies run by women perform far better. To me, that’s a very important data point. I certainly believe that having a woman-centric view when you talk of governance is very important and that is above the discussions on whether or not to have reservations.” said Deora.

“Why do we not see demonetisation from a woman’s perspective? We see it from traders’ perspective or business perspective but what about women’s perspective on demonetisation? How does it help or hurt them?” he added.

Pointing out the recently released annual report of the NGO, Praja Foundation, which said that the crimes and sexual assaults against women have increased in Mumbai, Deora said, “That’s something which is extremely frightening and scary. The fact that women are coming out and reporting crimes against women, however, is good news. There are so many crimes against women that often go unreported, that the actual number must be much higher, and that is something which is an alarming trend...”

Apart from taking women’s viewpoint into account, the senior Congress leader said that he also believes that the medieval mindsets of men have to change. “Resolutions, reservations will only take you to a certain point, but changing mindsets is very important. How a typical Indian male thinks of a woman is very important. What is his assessment or what are the roles of women? Are women only meant to be in the kitchen? Are they only meant to be mothers at home? Or are they meant to be equal to men? These questions are important to ask.” said Deora.

While Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics has given the Congress party a confidence boost, Deora said that he doesn’t want the upcoming election to be a battle of personalities, but hopes that the discussions will be based on issues that are important to people.

“The feedback I am getting from the voters of south Bombay, which in some sense is also the bellwether for what the country is seeking, is that people are moving beyond personalities and focusing on issues. Everyday issues matter. Any party will try and make it about personality, or something else, essentially about an emotive topic... but, I really believe that people are concerned about issues that matter to them the most. I feel that sticking to what matters to people the most, and what has the government done, not done, failed to do or done well, that should be the crux of the matter.” said Deora.

The senior Congress leader also said that the youth has to proactively take part in the electoral process, and make their votes count. He also added that it is important that voters vote in an ‘informed way’.

“The youth of India has to set the agenda for this election. Young people are most cynical about whether their votes will count. But, they have to tell political parties what they want and if they don’t do that I think they are missing out on a huge opportunity. There are 45 million new young voters in this election. it’s huge.” pointed out Deora.

Talking about his own constituency, Deora said that one issue that he hopes becomes a talking point in the upcoming election is the redevelopment of eastern waterfront by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT)

“In Mumbai, a very big issue, that has been only highlighted to some extent is that of the Mumbai Port Trust -- the fact that 1800 acres of land in the heart of South Mumbai, is being developed by them in a haphazard, and indiscriminate manner. It is being developed in such a way that it is not giving the city it’s due,” said Deora.

“They (Mumbai Port Trust) are almost saying that they are an entity of their own, and they don’t exist in Mumbai. That’s very unfortunate and extremely dangerous. If some people feel that Lower Parel was a disaster, then this will be an unprecedented disaster... I have been a shipping minister, and I know Mumbai Port Trust should be allowed to make money. But, they should also keep the city in mind. That’s something that needs to be brought to the agenda as it is a very important issue. I really hope that it becomes an electoral issue. I hope that people see the traffic problems, the infrastructure and flooding problems, the dangers of haphazard development that the Lower Parel development has taught us.” he added.

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