12 BJD MP-Elects Meet Naveen
12 BJD MP-Elects Meet Naveen

33% Reservation For Women: Naveen Has Shown The Way, Will BJP & Congress Follow?

12 March 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: Even though the much sought-after 33 percent for women bill is pending in the Indian Parliament since the Congress-led UPA II tenure, BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has this time stolen a march over all other political leaders, both national and regional parties, for having championed for the historic but uphill task.

He has not only written to the Prime Minister of India, but also to all the political parties batting for the noble cause so that the pending bill gets comfortably passed in the Parliament and accord the statutory seal of approval of boosting up the women empowerment by reserving 33 percent of the seats in both the Parliament and State Assemblies across the nation.

The Odisha Chief Minister did not stop there. He has already passed a resolution in Assembly last year and has recently made it loud and clear at Kendrapara that the State is definitely sending 33 percent of women MPs to the Lok Sabha after this year’s general elections.

It implies BJD has made up its mind, but the ball now lies in the courts of the main national party BJP and Congress.

In her reactions, Odisha BJP secretary Dr Lekhasri Samantsinghar said, “We have already advocated that there should be reservation for the women. But, its proper forum is that the bill has to be passed in the Parliament and there will be constitutional amendment.”

She informed, “The matter was raised during the UPA Government. But, the allies of Congress had protested it. BJP had written to Rahul Gandhi to convince the allies of Congress then the introduction of the bill will be done and passed. Because, the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha during UPA stint, but it was stalled in the Lok Sabha. Now we have majority in the Lok Sabha not in the Rajya Sabha. We could get it passed in the Lok Sabha, but it would get stalled in the Rajya Sabha. Triple Talaq was stalled and we were bound down for the proclamation of ordinance.”

“However, it will be the decision of our party this time and the suitable woman candidates will be sent to Lok Sabha. More and more women will be sent to Parliament. The exact number hasn’t be decided. There is no rule. That depends on the individual party. When there will be rule, a specific number is a must. Whoever will be deemed suitable will be made the candidate by our party and sent to Parliament,” the BJP spokesperson opined.

Odisha Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena stated, “The stand of Congress for the women is always above. Starting from Indira Gandhi to Nandini Satpathy, the party has always given good positions to the women. Congress party has given the position of Rashtrapati (President of India), Lok Sabha Speaker, Nandini Satpathy was the Odisha Chief Minister. Hence, the stand of Congress for the women is always good.”

She added, “It’s a matter of immense pleasure that BJD has taken the stand. It is welcome. Not only for Lok Sabha, Naveen Babu should soon declare that his party is going to implement the 33% reservation for women in the 147 seated Assembly.”

“Congress party will definitely give priority to the women. Instances galore from the past that Congress has already done it. Congress has always set an example in this context,” she claimed.

Also Read: Pros & Cons Of 33% Reservation For Women From Odisha In Parliament During 2019 Elections

Also Read: Challenges Before BJD To Find 7 Suitable Woman Candidates For Lok Sabha

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Dr Lekhasri Samantsinghar, State Secretary, BJP, Odisha

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Sumitra Jena, President, Mahila Congress, Odisha