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Mamata Banerjee Banks on Women-centric Schemes to Propel TMC to Victory in Bengal Assembly Polls

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

With approximately 3.39 crore women voters making up 48.5% of the electorate, Banerjee's new look to schemes like 'Kanyashree Prakalpa', 'Rupashree Prakalpa' and 'Sabooj Sathi' could play a decisive factor in the Assembly polls next year.

Armed with almost 250 women-centric schemes related to empowerment, economic rehabilitation and education, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked the Trinamool Congress's 'Mahila Morcha' (women's wing) to intensify its campaign to propagate them.

With approximately 3.39 crore women voters, making up 48.5% of the electorate, Banerjee's new look to schemes like 'Kanyashree Prakalpa', 'Rupashree Prakalpa' and 'Sabooj Sathi' could play a decisive factor in the Assembly polls next year to cover the lost vote shares that moved to the BJP.

Banerjee had recently announced uniformity in giving promotion to women constables, assistant sub-inspectors, sub-inspectors and inspectors posted at 'unarmed branch' of the police department.

"Till January 1, 2020, there are 37,143 male constables and 9,258 women constables. I felt that women working in the department were deprived of their due promotion. There was no uniformity," she had said. "For example, if a male and female joined the department at the same date, the female constable used to be deprived of promotion. From now onward, they will be treated equally like their men colleagues. There will be a common gradation list."

Banerjee earlier said that the state government has good numbers of female representatives in the Parliament, state departments and panchayats. "We have more than one crore ASHA workers, dedicated SHGs and nearly 70,000 ‘Anganwadi’ women workers," she had added.

Nearly 41% of the candidates who contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on behalf of the TMC were women. In most of her public speeches, Banerjee never missed out on highlighting the party's participation of 35% female MPs. She also reserved 50% of the seats in local bodies for women candidates.

Political analyst Kapil Thakur said it is good for the state government to be working toward women empowerment. "But the government should ensure that it reaches the right hand. I think this is certainly going to have a significant impact in the upcoming state polls,” he said.

Party cadres have been asked to organise small 'saheli sabhas' in all 341 blocks to ensure that every woman gets the benefits of government schemes. There will be extensive social media campaigns on the ease of availing the benefits of such schemes.