Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that BJD will continue to demand 33 percent reservation for women in assemblies and Parliament. He was speaking on the occasion of 24th foundation day of Biju Janata Dal. He said that the regional party named after his father Biju Patnaik has always been in the front for fighting for the rights of women.
Patnaik criticised that the national parties remember women empowerment only during elections. Prior elections, the parties tend to conveniently forget this agenda after winning polls. Furthermore the BJD president promised to remind national parties about their forgotten agenda on 33 percent reservation for women in assembly and Parliament elections. Patnaik wishes to make women reservation a national movement.
Further details in his statement
Patnaik said ,”From now on in every session of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and legislative assembly, BJD will raise the women reservation issue and remind the national parties about their forgotten promises.”
“We cannot deprive half of our population of their rights. They must have their rightful place in the political space of our country. Though BJD is a regional party, we will continue to demand 33 per cent reservation of seats for women in assemblies and Parliament.”
“If we Indians want to compete with the developed countries, we must first give rights to our women,” he added.
The Odisha Chief Minister emphasises that no country or a state could progress without strengthening women.
But Naveen Patnaik’s statement gained criticism from other national leaders. Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan ridiculed Patnaik’s concern for women. “You can see how women and children are treated in Odisha”, he said referring to the incident where Odisha government failed to give justice to a five year old girl child in Nayagarh.” Mr Patnaik’s assertions are only to divert public attention from atrocities on women and girls,” he further added.
Anyways, Naveen Patnaik’s statement from Saturday is significant as the state is all set for the elections to 114 Urban Local Bodies next year.
The urban polls in 2021 is considered crucial for the ruling BJD as it will be held prior to the 2022 panchayat polls and 2024 general elections for Assembly and Lok Sabha.
About 80 lakh Mission Shakti groups across the state have emerged as the strength of Patnaik, who became chief minister of Odisha in five successive terms since 2000.
Malavika M S is an intern with the SheThePeople.TV