Kendapara: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced 33 per cent quota for women in the allocation of Lok Sabha seats for the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party.  “I am delighted to be in Kendrapara today. Here, I have announced a 33 per cent reservation for women in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Patnaik said while addressing an election rally in Kendrapara district.

Leaders of the BJD confirmed that the party will allocate a third of Lok Sabha tickets for women. BJD will become the first political party to announce such a move. The party currently has three female MPs. Keonjhar is represented by Shakuntala Laguri, Jajpur by Rita Tarai and Kandhamal by Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh.

While addressing the gathering, Patnaik spoke of former CM Biju Patnaik, his father who championed women and added that the BJD has carried forward the legacy.

“Kendrapara’s soil is Biju Babu’s soil. In 1990, Biju Babu showed the way to the nation. He gave women 33 per cent reservation (in local bodies)”, he said.

“Last year, your government for the first time passed a resolution in the Odisha assembly calling for 33 per cent reservation in Parliament and legislative assemblies. I have forwarded this proposal to every political party and all CMs in India”, Patnaik said.

He added, “The women of Odisha will lead the way in women empowerment in India. If India is to lead the world if India is to be an advanced nation like America and China, then women empowerment is the only answer,” he added.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, Nishtha Satyam praised the Patnaik government after the Odisha Assembly passed a resolution that proposed a 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and the state Assemblies.