Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi did not need the reservation for women to prove her mettle and performed better than male leaders in Congress.

On Sunday, a senior BJP leader at the inauguration of an exhibition by women self-help groups (SHGs) in Nagpur said that he was not opposed to women’s reservation but was against politics based on religion and caste.

Mr. Gadkari asked, “Indira Gandhi proved her mettle in her party among other dedicated male leaders. Was it due to reservation?”

He further said that the female BJP leaders like former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did much well in politics without any reservations.

“I am not against women’s reservation. Women should get reservation. I am not opposed to it,” added Mr. Gadkari.

However, a person proficient on the basis of knowledge and not because of caste, language, region, or religion, said the Union Minister.

Mr. Gadkari also said that “One makes progress on the basis of knowledge. Do we ask about the religion of Saibaba, Gajanan Maharaj or Sant Tukdoji Maharaj? Have we ever asked about the caste of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar or Jyotiba Phule? I am against politics based on caste and religion.”

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