‘Take leadership in initiating necessary steps for passing Bill for one-third seats for women in Parliament & Assemblies’


Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday requested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the leadership in initiating necessary steps for passing Bill for reservation of one-third of seats in Parliament and State legislatures for women.

The Chief Minister in a letter to PM Modi assured him of full support in providing women their rightful place in the decision making process.

Patnaik’s letter came fifteen days after Odisha Assembly unanimously passed a resolution seeking 33 per cent reservation for women in Legislative Assemblies and Parliament. The move also came at a time when the Women’s Reservation Bill or the Constitution (108th amendment) Bill is pending before the Parliament.

At present, the Odisha Assembly has 12 women legislators including 11 from BJD and one from BJP.

Claiming that Odisha is a pioneering State so far as empowerment of women is concerned, Patnaik said, “In the early 19902, the legendary Biju Patnaik, for the first time in the country, brought women to the realm of political decision making by reserving one-third of all seats in panchayats and urban local bodies for them.”

In 2011, the Odisha Government enhanced the reservation for women in panchayats and urban local bodies to 50 per cent, said Patnaik.

“Mahatma Gandhi always spoke of gender equality and empowerment of women in society. Taking a historic decision to empower women in our country would be finest tribute to the father of the nation on his 150th birth anniversary,” said Patnaik.

“Empowerment of women is the empowerment of the nation. No household, no society, no State, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in our constitution. The country will move forward with much greater momentum only if the other half of our population, our mothers, sisters and daughters have a role in the highest decision making bodies of our State and country,” added Patnaik.

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