Elections 2019: After BJD, Congress plays ‘women card’ to woo voters

Bhubaneswar: With campaigns for the upcoming general elections going in full swing, political parties are leaving no stone unturned to turn things around in their favour. Moving a step forward in this battle of ballot with the BJD and the BJP, Odisha Congress today declared that it would give more tickets to women candidates in 2019 polls.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik today informed that the State unit of the party has been directed by AICC to give more tickets to women candidates in the upcoming elections in Odisha.

Speaking to the media at Biju Patnaik International Airport here on Wednesday, after attending a screening committee meeting to speed up finalization of tickets at New Delhi, Patnaik said candidates have already been shortlisted for 15 Lok Sabha and 105 Assembly seats and the names will be declared soon.

“We have to do some field works as we are advised to propose names of more women candidates. We discussed selection of candidates for the first three phases of polls in Odisha; but yet to discuss on finalisation of candidates for the fourth phase,” said Patnaik.

He further said that three Lok Sabha seats have been reserved for its allies- Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India (CPI).

BJD supremo and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had earlier declared 33 per cent reservation for women in the allocation of Lok Sabha tickets for the party. Similarly, TMC leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday  gave tickets to 17 women out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in her state.

It is pertinent to mention here that women voters comprise 50 per cent of the total electorate of Odisha and this has prompted political parties here to chalk out strategies to woo women votes.