New Delhi: International Women’s Day remained the focus of prime time debates Monday night as several channels talked about the lack of women’s participation in leadership roles.
Rubika Liyaquat on ABP News discussed a new ABP-CNX opinion poll, Times Now spent prime time on its C-Voter poll on the forthcoming assembly elections, which showed the Left retaining Kerala, the DMK winning Tamil Nadu, the BJP retaining Assam and TMC leading the BJP in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, Deepak Chaurasia on News Nation had a more pressing concern on Women’s Day — “Should burqa be banned?”
Mirror Now discussed reservation for women and their representation in Parliament, or the lack thereof. “There is huge benefit in making sure women come into positions of power and decision-making; There is nothing stopping the BJP from giving 33 per cent reservation to women,” said former BJD MP Kailash Deo.
“Women’s reservation is very important, it shows you the final stages of problems that existed previously. It is equally important to focus on fundamental building blocks of what it takes to be equal,” added social entrepreneur Ritwika Bhattacharya.
TMC’s Suparno Moitra said, “We would urge the government in the Centre to not (give) lip service but to show their intent by bringing in the women’s reservation bill in the Parliament. Women make better lawmakers than men.”
India Today also addressed the gender divide: “Is quota the only way to ensure greater women’s participation? Is women’s empowerment an empty slogan?”
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi felt that the gender issue and gender equality should “rise above politics and political parties”. “Shiv Sena takes pride that at the municipal level, there is 50 per cent women participation… Women’s participation has actually emerged from regional parties not national ones,” she said.
Putting Congress on the spot, anchor Rajdeep Sardesai said, “Congress has 1,007 MPs and MLAs of which only 91 are women. Since Independence, not even 25 per cent tickets have gone to women.”
Congress’ Shama Mohamed hit back: “We have tried our best to bring (in) 33 per cent women’s reservation bill. UPA’s first cabinet had 10 women, Rajiv Gandhi really supported women’s participation.”
BJP’s Khushbu Sundar said, “Why can’t men get up and say that women rightly deserve it? We shouldn’t have to fight for reservation. We are looking at more than just 33 per cent reservation.”
On Times Now, the debate was all about the Times Now-C-Voter poll.
Turning to Bengal, anchor Navika Kumar asked, “How satisfied are voters with the performance of their MLA?”. She underlined how 39 per cent in the opinion poll said they are not satisfied at all.
TMC’s Saugata Roy disagreed: “As far as my area is concerned, people are quite satisfied.”
On Mamata Banerjee’s popularity, Babul Supriyo, MoS Environment, Forest & Climate Change, said, “She is a very famous person, everyone knows who she is. But she is an infamous person, for not taking decisions or for taking decisions that are not good in the long term. People don’t love her anymore.”
At ABP, anchor Rubika Liyaquat discussed the ABP-CNX survey on West Bengal elections. “This opinion poll was conducted before the big events — BJP, Congress rallies and before Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP,” the anchor said. It shows a keen fight between TMC and BJP but Mamata Banerjee the favorite to be chief minister.”
CNX director Bhawesh Jha said, “Opinion polls are moods of a particular situation and time. Nobody knows the situation today. Like you said that there have been significant events after the polls were conducted.”
He added, “TMC might have benefited from Mamata’s aggressive ground campaign during the fuel hike protest.”
Commenting to Jha, Liyaquat said, “Swing votes are shown at 6.55 per cent. You are saying that those who voted for BJP in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, will now vote for the Left and the INC alliance?”
Why did Mamata leave Bhawanipore? Liyaquat then asked TMC’s Riju Dutta.
“In the Lok Sabha polls, BJP gained because there was no face in front of Modi ji. Now, in the assembly polls, there is no face in the BJP to stand in front of Mamata Banerjee. Logistics here are completely different and if Congress and CPM increase their vote share then the loss will not be to TMC but of BJP,” Dutta said, adding that the Bengal CM is a “street fighter” and she doesn’t need to rename a stadium in her name.
Deepak Chaurasia on News Nation was, as he often is, preoccupied with sectarian issues: “Why do fundamentalist have a problem with burqa ban?” he asked.
“There was a large poll in Switzerland on burqa ban: 51 per cent said burqa should be banned because no one knows who is hiding inside the burqa. In Kashmir, there have been talks about terrorists hiding behind the burqa,” Chaurasia claimed.
“Islam and burqa have no relation. Burqa has no ties with Islam or Muslim women. Burqas only exist to dominate Muslim women,” remarked Tarek Fatah, Pakistani-Canadian author.