Berhampur, March 1(LocalWire): Women have slowly made their presence felt in all spheres of life but they are still minorities when participation in politics is considered.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was the first to pitch for 33% women’s quota in the state Assembly and Lok Sabha.
Women aspirants for the BJD tickets in Ganjam, the CM’s home district, are hoping they will get a fair chance to contest the twin elections. Several of them also made a beeline for the BJD ticket to contest the state Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
‘Mr Patnaik always talks of women empowerment. Odisha is the first state where a resolution was passed for 33% reservation for women in the state Assembly and the Lok Sabha. He also urged other political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to pass a resolution in this regard in the Parliament,’ said former Rajya Sabha member, Renubala Pradhan.
She said Odisha was the first state where 50 per cent of reservation was made for the women representatives in the rural and urban local bodies. ‘We will not be surprised if the BJD field more women candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections,’ Ms Pradhan said.
In the last elections held in 2014, BJD had fielded four women candidates in Ganjam (3) and Gajapati (1) districts out of 15 Assembly constituencies. All of them had won. They are Usha Devi (Chikiti), Nandini Devi (Sanakhemundi), V. Sugnana Kumari Deo (Kabisurya Nagara) and Basanti Mallick (Mohana-ST).
The ruling party, however, did not field any woman candidate in the two Lok Sabha seats (Aska and Berhampur) in the district in the last election. ‘We hope the party supremo will field more women candidates this time in the districts,’ said Mamata Bisoi, vice president of BJD’s state women wing.
A senior woman party leader said a number of aspirants belonging to the ruling party are eyeing to contest from different Assembly and Lok Sabha seats. ‘They may get a chance to contest, if some of the sitting MLAs are dropped,’ she said.
Women aspirants of Congress and BJP party are also pinning their hope of getting tickets this time.
‘Rahul Gandhi wants more youth and women to contest the election. Congress also wants more participation from women so that there is more women representatives in the state Assembly and the Parliament,’ said district Congress committee’s women’s wing president Swarupa Tripathy. She is interested in contesting the Assembly election from Aska constituency.
‘We have already discussed with the leaders to field more women candidates this time. We hope, the party high command will decide to give tickets to more women in the coming elections, as there are more active women politicians in the party,’ state executive member of BJP Subashini Patnaik said,