Women's Reservation Bill: Biju Janata Dal to consult seven national, 15 regional parties to build consensus

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha has decided to consult 22 political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, as part of its effort to build consensus on the Women's Reservation Bill, pending in Parliament.

File image of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI

File image of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI

The BJD, headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, resolved at a meeting Wednesday that its delegates would meet leaders of seven national parties and 15 regional parties in this regard, party leaders said. The meeting deliberated on the party's strategy for intensifying its campaign seeking 33 percent reservations for women in Parliament and state Assemblies.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan criticised the BJD's move, dubbing it as an "eyewash".

A release issued by the party listing the names of BJD representatives, including MPs, who would meet representatives of various parties, did not mention Patnaik's name.

The development came a day after Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate steps to pass the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament.

Though the Women's Reservation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010, it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. The legislation lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

The Odisha Assembly on 20 November had unanimously passed a resolution seeking reservation of one-third seats for women in Parliament and state Assemblies.

BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said, besides the Congress and BJP, ruling party leaders will meet representatives of the Trinamool Congress, the BSP, the CPI, the CPM and the NCP. They will also meet the leaders of 15 regional parties — the AAP, the AIADMK, the DMK, the INLD, the JD(S), the JD(U), the National Conference, the PDP, the JMM, the RJD, the
SAD, the Shiv Sena, the SP, the TDP and the TRS, Mishra said.

The Odisha government had raised the reservation for women in panchayats and urban local bodies to 50 percent from 33 percent in 2011.

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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 12:32 PM

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