Bhubaneswar: Odisha CM reiterates demand for 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday renewed the demand for 33% reservation for women candidates in assembly and Lok Sabha seats. Patnaik, in an address on the occasion of International Women’s Day, said “the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had reserved 33% seats for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The regional party has also been demanding a similar reservation of seats for them in the Assembly and Parliament”.
Through the women’s reservation agenda, Patnaik, who used to push the woman self-help group agenda with his Mission Shakti policy and by helping the party expand its grassroots presence, is intent on maintaining his pro-woman image. Political analysts are of the belief that Patnaik has remained unchallenged electorally in the State since 2000 mainly due to unflinching support of women voters.
Describing the women as natural-born leaders, Patnik said “the mothers shoulder the entire responsibility of their families. They have no problem in taking the responsibility of the society as well as the country. It is our responsibility to provide them the opportunity to showcase their leadership qualities and utilize them in the inclusive development of the nation:Former Chief Minister Biju Babu was the champion of women’s rights and it was he who took a historic step for empowering women in the nineties.
Naveen further said the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government has ensured 50 per cent reservation of seats for women in panchayats and urban local bodies for the fulfillment of their longcherished dream. Listing out the women welfare schemes by the state government, Patnaik highlighted Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. He said the state government has also conferred on them land and property rights and provided ration cards, scholarship to girl students and working women’s hostels.