Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday wrote to chief ministers of all states and union territories seeking their cooperation to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament. Earlier, he had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate steps to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill. “The support of chief ministers in giving rightful places to women in society will give a new direction towards women empowerment,” Patnaik wrote in letters to CMs.
Stating that women have a major role to play in building the nation and society, he said, “Empowerment of women is empowerment of the nation. No household, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women.” Patnaik’s letters to chief ministers came a day after the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha took a decision to consult 22 political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, as part of its efforts to build consensus on the Women’s Reservation Bill, pending in the Lok Sabha.
BJD delegates would meet leaders of seven national parties and 15 regional parties in this regard, party leaders said. Though the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010, it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. The legislation lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014. Meanwhile, the BJD has also decided to put up a proposal regarding the bill during the Winter Session of Parliament which is scheduled to begin in the second week of December.
In this regard, Patnaik has called for a meeting of the party MPs here on December 9, party sources said. The Odisha Assembly on November 20 had unanimously passed a resolution seeking reservation of one-third seats for women in state assemblies and Parliament.