Koraput, March 2 (LocalWire): Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s push for 33 percent reservation for women in the assemblies and Parliament has instilled hope in many women aspirants from the Koraput district trying to get BJD tickets in the forthcoming elections.
The enthusiasm is particularly visible in the five tribal-dominated assembly seats. Women aspirants are hopeful that this time they have an edge over their male counterparts.
“I have been a disciplined party worker for past 20 years. Whatever responsibility the party has given to me, I have carried it out with honesty.
“Though the ultimate decision lies with our party president, I will apply for a ticket for the Jeypore assembly seat,” said Bindu Rani Mishra, a BJD zilla parishad member.
Another aspirant from Laxmipur Asrit Lakra said, “Whatever the CM says he does it. If has advocated for women reservation, he will surely do something.”
“I have discharged my duties dedicatedly, and will apply for a party ticket,” Lakra, who is BJD’s women wing president in Dasmantpur block, told Localwire.
Padmini Dian, another BJD worker, said she’s hoping to get a party ticket for the Kotpad assembly seat.
“The chief minister has always advocated for women empowerment. He rolled out several welfare schemes for women. Therefore, I am thinking positive, and hopeful of getting a ticket,” she said.
Party sources, however, say it will be a tough task for the BJD chief in ticket distribution this time, as there’re many eligible candidates, and he may not want to let them down.
In 2014, BJD had fielded only one woman candidate, Hemabati Gamang from the Laxmipur assembly seat. She had lost the election to Kailash Kuleshika of Congress.
Of the five tribal-dominated seats in the district, the ruling party had won just one, while the Congress bagged four in the last elections.
“BJD has always given priority to women candidates, and this time too there will be no difference,” the party’s Koraput district president Iswar Panigrahi told Localwire. “All the aspirants will be considered based on their winning chances before ticket distribution,” he added.