BJD to empower women in LS polls
By  Shimon Chadha | Updated:  Mar 11, 2019, 05:32 PM
The chief of the Biju Janata Dal, which is the strongest party in Odisha since the past 20 years, Naveen Patnaik, announced at the Women’s Self Help Group’s Conclave, that women will be given 33% quota for the seats of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The fourth time consecutive Odisha Chief Minister, has done many such “firsts”. He not only allocated Rs.10 million for the Mission Shakti Bhawan, the government department dedicated to women and child upliftment, but also received a personal letter from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women which thanked the state government for promoting “Gender Responsive Governance in the state”.
8 years ago, the state passed the bill that reserved half the seats of urban and rural local self-governments for women.
When the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, and then lapsed after the dissolving of the Lok Sabha in 2014, the Odisha state assembly took a step forward and appealed to the Centre to bring in the 108th Amendment Bill again, but in vain.
Patnaik also personally requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take an initiative, if “India is to be an advanced nation like America and China”, as he believes that “women empowerment is the only answer”.
Though opposition parties supported the passing of the bill in the state, they also slammed the regional party, which left the National Democratic Alliance a few years ago over differences with the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying the move was designed to woo the citizens before the polls.
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