New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding one-third reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures, said ANI on Tuesday. According to the agency, the letter said, “I assure full support of my Government in providing women their rightful place in the decision-making process.” (Also read: Naveen Patnaik Lashes Out, Says People of Odisha Will Give Befitting Reply to BJP in 2019 Elections)

Invoking the Father of the Nation, the letter said, “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 the finest tribute to the Father of the Nation on his 150th Birth Anniversary.”

The Odisha Assembly had, on November 21, unanimously passed a resolution seeking 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament. The resolution, moved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, was passed by a voice vote after a debate in the House.

The members of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supported the resolution. While moving the resolution, Patnaik had termed the proposal as “historic”.

The resolution was passed ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, which begins on December 11. The Women’s Reservation Bill is pending in the parliament. Currently, the 147-member state assembly has 12 women MLAs.

Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said Odisha is ahead of the rest of the states as far as women empowerment is concerned.

Earlier, Patnaik had said Odisha must show its commitment and resolve to the entire country that it is the land where women are truly empowered and truly involved in nation-building. “No household, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women,” he said.