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BJP votes in Maharashtra got divided due to Maratha quota, farmers’ issues, Opposition’s Constitution narrative: MoS Raksha Khadse

A three-time MP from Maharashtra and the youngest woman minister in the Narendra Modi government, Raksha Khadse, 37, was appointed the Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Monday.

Khadse speaks to The Indian Express about her elevation to the Council of Ministers, women’s representation in politics, and the Maharashtra Assembly elections that are scheduled for later this year. Excerpts:

Back in 2014, the honourable Prime Minister showed faith in me as a youth face and a woman. Before 2014, several senior MPs were nearing retirement and the PM started bringing in change on that front and gave more opportunities to the youth.

The youth looked down upon politics, but Modi ji has changed the way the politicians were perceived. He also prioritised more participation of women in politics. And we have witnessed that in the ticket distribution and elevation of women MPs to ministerial roles. We have also seen that women have more than an equal share in voter turnout. In this election, we saw that women clearly voted as per their choice … Women openly defied the voting choices of their families.

I was a sarpanch and a Zilla Parishad member before becoming an MP. However, being a minister will be a completely different experience. I will have to learn, unlearn and educate myself.

Our government has been running a slew of women-oriented schemes that centre around financial inclusion of women through self-help groups, opening of bank accounts, and easily accessible and affordable loans.

Women have obtained far greater exposure to these issues in the past decade. With access to loans, they are more self-reliant. With the realisation that they can improve their financial independence, they are also

Read more on indianexpress.com