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

11 March 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: As Odisha Assembly has already passed a resolution last year batting for 33% reservation for women in both the Parliament and State Assemblies across India, ruling BJD supremo-cum-Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced yesterday that 33% women will represent Odisha in Parliament this time.

Addressing the huge gathering of women self help groups (SHGs) at Kendrapara’s convention under the Mission Shakti scheme, Naveen Patnaik has made it loud and clear that Odisha will send 33 per cent women to Parliament in coming election and the women of Odisha will lead the way in entire India with regard to women empowerment.

Though the BJD supremo is championing for the great cause of 33% reservation for women and has now religiously tightened up his belt for setting an example before all the poltical parties, both national and regional, now the challenges arise before this regional party to choose and pick seven (33%) suitable woman candidates for the Lok Sabha.

In the 2014 general elections, BJD has its three woman MPs in the Lok Sabha. They are Keonjhar MP Sakuntala Laguri, Jajpur MP Rita Tarai and Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh.

Apart from these three sitting woman MPs of BJD from Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has to take a strong decision on four more woman candidates for four more parliamentary constituencies as rest others are being represented by males.

As Kendrapara parliamentary seat is lying vacant following Baijayant Panda’s resignation due to his suspension from BJD and he is now in BJP, this seat is likely to be for a woman BJD candidate as Naveen Patnaik made this vital announcement yesterday for the first time from the historic soil of Kendrapara.

If this seat is taken into serious consideration for which the BJD chief and Odisha Chief Minister deemed Kendrapara’s Mission Shakti convention fit for such an important announcement, the party has now to field woman candidates from three more Lok Sabha seats in Odisha taking the tally of 33% reservation to seven.

Notably, BJD has won 20 out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections while the lone seat of Sundargarh was bagged by BJP MP and incumbent Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram.

Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh said, “It’s a very good and historic decision by our hon’ble CM for women empowerment and for inspiring the women. It is a very big step.”

“This has inspired me to work hard and do the best for the society. I believe we women have the internal power to motivate, to get motivated, to create and to transform. I’m sure whoever will go will do best,” the woman BJD MP remarked.

Jajpur MP Rita Tarai said, “You all know that the hon’ble Chief Minister has always been giving preference to the women. He has also much earlier stressed for the 33% reservation for women in both the Parliament and Assembly. He has also announced this at Kendrapara yesterday.”

“This step is welcome and commendable. I’m hopeful I’ll be fielded again. Whatever he takes the decision, we’ll do for the party,” she concluded.

Senior BJD MLA and former Biju Mahila Janata Dal president Pramilla Mallick in her media reactions said, “Hon’ble Chief Minister has taken the decision to send seven woman MPs from our party. The way he has done for the 33% reservation for women is observed by other parties, the hope and aspiration of the women will definitely be fulfilled. Thus, 33% of the women will certainly represent Odisha in the Parliament.”

“The Chief Minister is our party’s president. Whatever decision he will take, we’ll follow,” she stated.

BJD leader and Odisha Government’s Mahila Vikash Samabaya Nigam chairperson Shrimayee Mishra said, “Hon’ble Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken a historic step for Odisha. The decision has been taken for the political participation of the women. Our party has decided to senf 33% women to the Parliament. This welcome step has certainly infused a new lease of life among the women of Odisha. The women are now encouraged.”

She added, “I think, if the participation of the women increases in Parliament, the growth of country and Odisha will move further."

“It will be our party’s parameter how to choose the woman candidate. Whoever will be deemed suitable by our party’s Screening Committee will be made the candidate. We’ll support all our candidates in the fray,” she averred.

Also Read: Kendrapara Crowd Emotional On Seeing Their Daughter Sujata Lead Mission Shakti, Does BJD Have Any Political Plans For Her?

Also Read: List Of Candidates To Be Released Very Soon, Will Do Very Well In The Polls: BJD Chief Naveen Patnaik

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Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh, MP (BJD), Kandhamal, Odisha

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Rita Tarai, MP (BJD), Jajpur, Odisha

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Pramila Mallick, Senior BJD MLA

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Shrimayee Mishra, BJD Leader