Victory for CM Naveen Patnaik, says BJD
Besides, the BJD fielded six women candidates in eight by-elections to Assembly since 2019 out of which five won.
BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Centre placed the Women’s Reservation Bill, (Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam), in the Lok Sabha of the new Parliament building in New Delhi on Tuesday, the ruling BJD claimed it as a success of the efforts of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who has steadfastly championed the cause of women’s empowerment.
The chief minister had launched a campaign over the issue in 2018. The state Assembly passed a unanimous motion on November 20, 2018, seeking a 33 per cent reservation of seats for women in Parliament and state legislature. Initiating the discussion on the motion on November 20, 2018, the chief minister described it as historic.
In December of the same year, the chief minister had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. The chief minister continued to take up the matter on different forums and also wrote to chief ministers of all states on the matter.
Naveen had gone ahead and implemented 33 per cent reservation for women in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and fielded seven women candidates. Five BJD women candidates had won the polls. With two women BJP MPs, Odisha has 33 per cent representation of women from the state in Lok Sabha. Besides, the BJD fielded six women candidates in eight by-elections to the Assembly since 2019 out of which five won. The number of women MLAs in the Assembly is now 18.
BJD Rajya Sabha member Manas Ranjan Mangaraj said, “Today is a great day for furthering the cause of women’s empowerment in the state”. Stating the chief minister has been pushing for 33 per cent reservation for women, Mangaraj said his efforts have now succeeded. Terming it as a victory for BJD, Mangaraj said the party appreciates the initiative in this regard.