Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced 33 per cent reservation for women in the allocation of Lok Sabha seats by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the coming general elections.
"I would like to announce here at Kendrapara, the karma bhumi of legendary Biju Babu, that Odisha will send 33 per cent women to Parliament in the coming elections," said the Chief Minister at the Mission Shakti programme in Kendrapara.
The announcement implied that the BJD will field women candidates in 33 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats in Odisha. The state has 21 Lok Sabha constituencies.
"I call upon the national political parties that they should be true to their words, and must follow what they are propagating for women empowerment," said Patnaik, who is also the BJD chief.
He said 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.
In 2018, the Odisha government passed a resolution in the state assembly to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in both the Parliament and state legislatures.
Former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik had introduced 33 per cent reservation for women in the three-tier Panchayati Raj institutions. In 2012, the state government had enhanced it to 50 per cent.