Hours ahead of the announcement of final dates for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday signalled that Biju Janata Deal (BJD) will reserve 33% seats for women in upcoming general elections, according to ANI report.
Addressing the Women Self Help Group's (SHGs) 'Mission Shakti' convention at coastal Kendrapara district, Naveen Patnaik said, "I would like to announce here at Kendrapara, the 'karma bhoomi' of legendary Biju Babu, that Odisha will send 33 per cent women to Parliament in the coming elections."
If the party implements it in the coming general elections, the BJD will become the first political party to take such a move. The Naveen Patnaik-government had already passed the resolution seeking implementation of 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies in November 2018.
"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 CM also approved Rs 1 crore for Mission Shakti Bhawan in Kendrapara. Patnaik laid foundation stones of a bridge over Son river worth Rs 14 crore and another bridge on Deogaon-Desandha Road worth Rs 4.90 crore and inaugurated 50-bed maternity and child care institute at Titlagarh.
Odisha has 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, of which BJD had won 20 MP seats in 2014 general elections.
Meanwhile, The Election Commission of India (ECI) is expected to announce final dates for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 during a press conference at 5pm today. Apart from announcing dates for the Lok Sabha election dates, the ECI is also likely to announce the dates for Assembly polls in four states, including Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar