Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha have been engaged in a twitter banter over the issue of women empowerment and reservation of seats for women in Assemblies across states and the Parliament.

Taking to the micro blogging site, BJD heavyweight and MLA Pranab Prakash Das tagged Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, stating that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wanted woman to go to the Parliament and Assemblies and participate in the nation building process, something which the BJP does not want to happen.

"Our Chief Minister wants our mothers and sisters to determine the fate of the country through increased representation in the Parliament and Assemblies. Do you want women to make food in the kitchen only? Our mothers and sisters who have mastered culinary skills can run the country with equal efficiency if they are given the opportunity,” Das said."

The BJP immediately hit back at the ruling party leader and said that the BJD in Odisha needed to learn to respect women first before talking about their empowerment.

Replying to the twitter post of Das, BJP state general secretary Lekhasri Samantsinghar said "You run syndicates involved in rape of children, murder and organ smuggling while your chief minister is confined within four walls. You have constrained your women MPs and legislators in sitting like mute spectators in the Assembly and the Parliament. First empower your women leaders like what the BJP has done. Then only talk about the empowerment of women," she said.

Similarly, BJP Mahila Morcha State secretary Rashmi Rekha Das too took to twitter and stated "Pregnant women still deliver in auto rickshaws, on cot and slings by roadside during the 20 years of BJD rule. Your leaders are seeking sexual favours for providing houses to poor people under the Awas Yojana. First look in to their basic needs before talking big about giving reservations in Assembly and Parliament."

Similarly, BJP State Yuva Morcha president Tankadhar Tripathy also lashed out at the ruling party MLA. Through a twitter post, Tripathy said "Sasmita, Madhabilata and Pari. Are they not women? Have they been given justice? Was not Kusum Tete a woman? Avoid big talks and give real honour and protection to women. Stop using women as a tool to gain cheap political mileage during elections.”

Das' twitter post came two days after BJD supremo and Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik said that his party will make women reservation a national movement. While addressing the 24th foundation day of BJD, Patnaik said that his party will continue to demand 33 per cent reservation for women in assemblies and Parliament.