BJD to reserve 33% Lok Sabha seats for women, informs Odisha CM

Kendrapara: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced 33 percent reservation for women in the allocation of Lok Sabha tickets for the BJD party. With the announcement, BJD becomes the first party in the country to allow the reservation for women in the Lower House of the Parliament.

“I am delighted to be in Kendrapara today. Here, I have announced 33 per cent reservation for women in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Patnaik said while attending the Mission Shakti conclave in Kendrapara.

The announcement implied that the BJD would field women candidates in 33 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats in the State. The State has 21 Lok Sabha constituencies.

“I call upon the national political parties that they should be true to their words, and must follow what they are propagating for women empowerment,” said Patnaik, who is also the BJD chief.

He said the women of Odisha will lead the way in women empowerment in India.

“If India is to lead the world, if India is to be an advanced nation like America and China, then women empowerment is the only answer,” he added.

Responding to the announcement, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra questioned, “This is Naveen Patnaik’s two-faced strategy. He had assured 33% reservation in Lok Sabha and State Assembly regarding which he had passed a resolution also. But now why it is only for Lok Sabha?”

Taking a dig at the ruling-BJD and its supremo, OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said, “Naveen babu was himself a minister in the Centre for five years and has been at the helm of the affairs in the State since last 19 years but was never concerned for the women of his State. Now all off a sudden he is playing ‘women card’ which is very unfortunate.

On the other hand, Vice president of Biju Mahila Janata Dal (BMJD) Srimayee Mishra criticized the BJP over its ‘two-faced’ comments’. They (BJP) had also promised to implement 33 percent reservation for women during 2014 elections but they did not fulfill it.”

In 2018, the Odisha government passed a resolution in the state assembly to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in both the Parliament and state legislatures.

Former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik had introduced 33 per cent reservation for women in the three-tier Panchayati Raj institutions. In 2012, the state government had enhanced it to 50 per cent.

(With IANS inputs)