Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Chief Naveen Patnaik has decided to consult 22 political parties, including the Congress and the BJP in an effort to build consensus on the Women’s Reservation Bill which is pending in Parliament.
Mr. Patnaik decided at a meeting on Wednesday that its delegates would meet leaders of seven national parties and 15 regional parties in this regard. The meeting deliberated on the party’s strategy for intensifying its campaign seeking 33 per cent reservations for women in Parliament and state Assemblies.
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The party issued the list naming the BJD representatives, including MPs, who would meet representatives of various parties but did not mention Chief Minister Patnaik’s name.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan criticised the BJD’s move, dubbing it as an “eyewash.”
The development came a day after Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister 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 but pending because it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. The legislation lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.
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Earlier, the Odisha Assembly on November 20 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, BJD representatives will meet leaders of the Trinamool Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the CPI, the CPI(M) and the NCP.