BJD to field women in 33% LS seats in Odisha

BJD to field women in 33% LS seats in Odisha
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Bhubaneswar, Mar 10: BJD president and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday indicated that his party will field women candidates in 33 per cent of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha in the forthcoming general elections.
“Odisha will send 33 per cent women to parliament in the coming elections,” Naveen announced while addressing a huge congregation of women self-help group members at Kendrapada.
He said the announcement at the sacred land of Lord Baladevjew, the revering deity of Kendrapada, will create history in the journey of women empowerment in India.
Going by Naveen’s words, BJD is set to field women candidates in seven of total 21 Lok Sabha seats, which the party claims to be a maiden move by any leaders in the country. In 2014, the party had fielded two women candidates from Jajpur and Keonjhar Lok Sabha seats while another women candidate of the party had elected to Lok Sabha in the Kandhamal byelection in October 2014.
“The women of Odisha will lead the way in women empowerment in India. If India is to lead the world, if India is to be an advanced nation like America and China, then women empowerment is the only answer,” Naveen pointed out.
He also urged other national parties to be true to their words and must follow what they are propagating for women empowerment.
At Kendrapada, known to be the karma bhumi of his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik, Naveen invoked his father to describe how Biju Patnaik took a bold decision on women empowerment in 1990s.
“In the 1990s, Biju Babu showed the way to the entire nation. It is he, who for the first time in India, implemented 33 per cent reservation for women in the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and government jobs,” Naveen said.
In 2012, the Naveen Patnaik government had enhanced reservation of seats for women to 50 per cent in the PRIs. Taking the move forward, Naveen had moved a resolution in the state assembly in November last year, seeking 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and parliament, which was passed unanimously. The BJD had reached out to 22 political parties seeking their support to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill. Naveen also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all chief ministers in this regard.