NEW DELHI, March 9 � Billed as the event of the year for women, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi�s Chai Pe Charcha organised to mark the International Women�s Day turned out to be a fiasco for women of the North East.
�Chai Pe Charcha with Namo on March 8, International Women�s Day. North East Women residing in Delhi and National Capital Region are cordially invited for a discussion over tea with Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP between 5-7 pm at 11 Ashoka Road, New Delhi�, said an impressive looking invitation card.
However, the experience of many women from the North East, who attended the event, was anything but memorable. Participants, who numbered over 300, were allegedly made to wait for hours together. They recounted that they saw anything but tea during the entire chat show. Mismanagement and disappointment was order of the day, commented a participant.
It turned out that the event was not exclusively for women of the North East, as the invitation had promised but Namo chatted with women from across India and abroad. Finally, Modi did take a question from a participant hailing from Manipur.
The women participant had gone hoping for an interaction with the Prime Ministerial candidate on a host of issues mainly concerning the safety of women in the national capital and the spate of incidents targeting people from the region with a strong racial overtone. They all came back dissappointed.
Said a participant, who did not wish to be identified, �We went with lots of expectations but came back totally disappointed. We didn�t get an opportunity to interact on issues we wanted and worse of all, there was no tea in sight.�
�There was no chai and there was no charcha,� she summed it up.
A BJP member and one of the coordinators of the event, Manab Bora, admitted that the invitation cards wrongly mentioned that the event was exclusively for women of the North East. �It was an event where women across the country and abroad participated online and therefore there were very limited opportunity for questions on North East,� he argued, adding that Modi did answer to questions specific to North East.
�We could not serve tea and biscuits during the interaction because it was a live event and movement causes disturbances for the TV crew,� he said.
�But we did serve dinner for the participants after the show,� he added.
Modi interacted with women at 1,500 locations online from the party�s headquarters in Delhi. Women are playing an important role in nation-building, we can�t deny that, he said.
�At the root of all problems is how boys and girls are looked at differently even within the family.
We need to change the outlook of the society. Women should be free to choose, whether it is about their career, education, marriage or having a family. Discrimination against women is the root of all troubles,� were some of his responses to queries.