Scandal breaks at Atal event in Jammu

Srinagar: The BJP ran into a scandal at an unlikely event when a woman confronted the Jammu and Kashmir party chief at a function to pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and complained that a leader had advised her to grant sexual favours to VIPs if she had to rise up the organisation ladder.

Footage shows the woman, who said she had served as an executive member of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha, approaching Ravinder Raina in Jammu on Thursday.

Other senior leaders are seen pleading with her to keep calm at the event, during which Raina also spoke.

“I am tired of complaining time and again,” she tells the leaders and loudly reminds Raina how he would hail her as a manifestation of ” Matri Shakti” and “Jhansi ki Rani”.

Later, addressing reporters, the woman named a party leader and alleged he had asked her to “do the setting” with any senior leader, including a Union minister, to move up the ladder.

When The Telegraph phoned the Union minister for a response, the line was disconnected.

BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said the woman was no longer an executive member and was levelling “baseless charges” after her plea to accommodate her husband in the party went unanswered.

But the woman told reporters: “I was given an offer that If I want to progress (in the party), do (this)…. I told them that I am from a good family, will never do it nor allow others do it and will raise my voice against it,” she said. “I asked them whether they felt any shame asking me to do it.”

She said she had lodged several complaints before the party. “But they told me these are small issues,” she added.

Several BJP women had faced a similar situation and had to quit politics after they refused, she said. “This is what is happening with women (in the party). Those who comply move up the ladder,” she said.

The video clip is circulating at a time the state BJP chief has been caught on another clip telling his colleagues that the new governor, Satya Pal Malik, was their “own man” and that the party leadership had been against the continuation of his predecessor N.N. Vohra as he would not listen to them.