BHUBANESWAR: After extending support to the State government resolution seeking 33 per cent reservation in Assembly and Lok Sabha, the Odisha unit of BJP on Wednesday asked the ruling BJD to nominate at least one-third women candidates in next elections.
The belated move of the State Government is aimed at influencing women voters ahead of the elections, said BJP legislator Pradip Purohit at a media conference here. “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should practice what he wants to preach,” Purohit said.
The Chief Minister must demonstrate his intent by fielding more women candidates in the coming elections to the State Assembly and the Lok Sabha, he said. Accusing Naveen of giving only lip service on women empowerment, the BJP leader said a cursory glance at the previous elections showed that the BJD president was never serious in providing adequate representation to women both in Assembly or Lok Sabha.
To drive home his point, Purohit said the BJD, which had a share of 84 seats in 2000 Assembly elections, nominated only nine women candidates and the number further came down to four in 2004. The BJD had seat sharing with BJP in the two elections.
The regional party, which severed electoral ties with BJP ahead of 2009 elections, had fielded only eight and 15 women candidates in 2009 and 2014 elections respectively despite the fact that the party contested all the 147 seats. This proved how committed the Chief Minister was for women empowerment, the BJP MLA said.
Lambasting the State Government for rising atrocities on women, Purohit said the resolution moved by the Chief Minister seeking 33 per cent reservation for women is nothing but hypocrisy.