Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that he is elated to see more and more seats are being allocated to women in the upcoming elections in the country. Patnaik's reaction came a day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee allocated 17 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats to women.
Patnaik, in a public meeting in Kendrapara on Sunday, announced that one-third of the Biju Janata Dal's candidates for parliamentary constituencies in Odisha would be women.
"Immensely happy to see All India Trinamool Congress led by @MamataOfficial nominate over one-third women candidates for ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019. With the gathering momentum, India could see a sea change in electoral & development domain," Naveen said in a tweet.
He said the move is a great tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
"Gandhiji was a great votary of #WomenEmpowerment and advocated higher representation for women in legislative bodies. Allocation of 33 per cent seats for women will be a humble tribute to the Father of the Nation on his 150th birth anniversary," Patnaik said in another Twitter post.
The Odisha Chief Minister has been advocating for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and State Assemblies. He has also urged all national and regional political parties and all chief ministers to extend their support in this regard.
Last year, the Odisha Assembly had passed a resolution to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in both Parliament and State legislatures. In 2012, Patnaik had also enhanced the reservation for women from 33 per cent to 50 per cent in the panchayat elections and urban local bodies.
Meanwhile, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik, who returned from the national capital after attending the party's central election committee meeting, said the Congress would also give priority to women candidates in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.