BHUBANESWAR: Following up his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to chief ministers of all States and Union territories seeking their cooperation to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament. On Tuesday, Naveen had requested the Prime Minister to initiate steps to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill.“The support of chief ministers in giving rightful places to women in society will give a new direction towards women empowerment,” Naveen said in letters to chief ministers.
Stating that women have a major role to play in building the nation and society, he said, “Empowerment of women is empowerment of the nation. No household, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women.”
Naveen’s letters to the chief ministers came a day after the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) decided to seek the support of 22 political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, as part of its efforts to build a consensus on the Women’s Reservation Bill, pending in the Lok Sabha. It was decided that delegation of BJD leaders would meet the leaders of seven national and 15 regional parties and discuss the proposal.
Though the Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010, it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. BJD delegates would meet leaders of 22 parties in this regard. Meanwhile, the BJD has decided to put up a proposal regarding the Bill during the winter session of Parliament which is scheduled to begin in the second week of December. Sources said Naveen has convened a meeting of the party MPs here on December 9. The ruling party, in a meeting, presided by Naveen on Wednesday had decided to consult national and regional parties for implementation of the proposal. The Odisha Assembly on November 20 had unanimously passed a resolution seeking reservation of one-third of seats for women in state assemblies and Parliament.