Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced that his party would field 33% women candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“Odisha will send 33% women to Parliament in the coming elections,” said Mr. Patnaik, addressing women delegates at a ‘Mission Shakti’ convention in coastal Ken.
“The women of Odisha will lead the way in women empowerment in India. If India is to lead the world, if India has to compete with countries like America and China and become advanced, then women empowerment is the only answer,” he said. The decision means that the BJD will field women candidates for at least seven out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the State.
In the 1990s, former CM late Biju Patnaik had for the first time implemented 33% reservation for women in the three-tier panchayati raj institutions and government jobs, said Mr. Patnaik.
“Taking the move forward, last year, the State government had passed a resolution in the Odisha Assembly to provide 33% reservation for women in both Parliament and State legislatures,” he said.
“I have also sent a proposal to all the national parties and Chief Ministers in this regard. I call upon all the national parties that they should be true to their words, and must follow what they have been propagating for women empowerment,” he said.