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Naidu vows to fight for women's quota

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, MARCH 8. The Telugu Desam president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, today gave a call to women to hand out a resounding defeat at the hustings to political parties hindering the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament.

He vowed to fight for reservation of one-third of seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies. Decrying the tendency of some political parties to use women as vote banks and ignore them after the elections, Mr. Naidu said: "All your problems will be solved if you defeat such parties."

The TDP president was addressing a gathering of women at a gala function held at the Shilpakala Vedika on the occasion of the International Women's Day. Though it was a Telugu Desam affair all the way, it was billed as a show organised by the NTR Memorial Trust apparently to avoid being seen as violating the Cable Networks (Regulation) Act which prohibits political advertisements on electronic media.

At least four television channels telecast the four-hour long programme live. Two outdoor broadcasting vans were stationed at Kadiam in East Godavari district and in Mahabubnagar to enable TDP functionaries and DWCRA women to interact with Mr. Chandrababu Naidu on television.

The NTR Trust, of which Mr. Naidu is the Managing Trustee, honoured 33 women, including litterateurs and artistes, who have achieved eminence in their fields and DWCRA members. Many of the recipients and almost all participants in the show from Kadiam and Mahabubnagar, showered praises on Mr. Naidu and asked people to vote for his party. Mr. Naidu, who seemed to enjoy every moment, appealed to women leaders to work for the TDP during the next 50 days and motivate people to vote in the party's favour in return for his untiring work for improving their lot during the last nine years. He said that the attitudes towards women had undergone a sea-change after the string of measures taken by the TDP Government for their empowerment such as equal property rights, girl child protection scheme and 33 per cent reservation in local bodies. He promised them that his Government would spend crores of rupees to bring women on a par with men in every field.

Earlier, veteran film actress, Anjali Devi, who was given an award, said Mr. Naidu was following NTR's footsteps in respect of giving women their rightful share in society. Justice K. Amareswari, retired High Court Judge, said that people should not vote for candidates with a criminal background or those who used money power.

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