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Odisha: BJD to seek support of regional, national parties for 1/3rd reservation for women

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Bhubaneswar: A day after BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate the move to ensure one-third reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures, the state’s ruling party has decided seek support of all other regional and national parties in the country in this regard.

The top BJD leaders, including some Ministers, MLAs and MPs, would meet the leaders of seven national parties and 15 regional parties to discuss the proposal, a statement issued by the party said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the party Vice-Presidents and General Secretaries presided over by Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas here this afternoon.

Speaking to reporters here after the meeting, BJD Vice-President Debi Prasad Mishra said: “ A delegation of BJD leaders has been formed to meet and urge other regional and national parties for the implementation of the historic decision of our government.”

According to BJD, senior leaders Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Ananta Das and Arabinda Dhali will meet the leaders of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) while Sashi Bhusan Behera, AU Singhdeo and Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh will meet the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders.

Similarly, Prasanna Acharya, Bed Prakash Agrawal, Bhartruhari Mahtab and Sarojini Hembram will meet BJP leaders. Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo, Kulamani Samal and Rita Tarai will meet CPI and CPM leaders. Besides, Tathagata Satpathy, Bed Prakash Agrawal, Pinaki Mishra and Prasanna Patsani will meet Congress leaders, while Badri Narayan Patra, Arun Patnaik and Sakuntala Laguri will meet the National Congress Party (NCP) leaders.

Earlier Patnaik had said that taking the historic decision to empower women in the country would be the finest tribute to the father of the nation on his 150th birth anniversary.

“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 states and our country,” he added.

The winter session of the state assembly has adopted a unanimous resolution to provide for one-third reservation to women in Parliament as well as the state legislatures.

In 2011, the Odisha government enhanced the reservation for women in Panchayats and urban local bodies to 50 per cent.

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