GANDHINAGAR : Even as BJP moved into the driver’s seat in the Gandhinagar district panchayat after nine members, including Congress president Hinaben Patel, crossed the floor, Gujarat’s first woman Chief Minister Anandiben Patel floated a revolutionary proposal on Monday.

“Toilets should be a compulsion in the home of any candidate wishing to contest elections, right from panchayats to Parliament”, she said.While the BJP spokesperson was busy announcing that nine district panchayat members, five of them women, had switched sides to bring the ruling party into power in the Congress-held Gandhinagar district panchayat, the CM was holding forth on making toilets in homes compulsory for those seeking to contest elections, at least in Gujarat. “While the applicability of such a move would require considerable scrutiny, Chief Minister Patel expressed her resolve to pursue this suggestion further. She was speaking at a statewide convention to unfold a roadmap for women’s empowerment.” “Toilets in homes will help in bringing down crimes against women,” she said adding that women are often targeted when they go out to answer nature’s call, particularly in rural areas.

Taking the idea further, she said political parties should take the initiative in this regard although the final call will have to be taken by the election commission. But the BJP will give serious thought to this idea in Gujarat.

 The Chief Minister unveiled numerous welfare schemes for women to mark the occasion The loss of the Gandhinagar district panchayat for Congress puts the ruling BJP in control of 25 of the 26 district panchayats in Gujarat.

The loss of the Junagadh municipal corporation for Congress in the just-concluded elections has already ensured that the BJP controls all the seven municipal corporations in the state.

R K MISRA

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