BJD leaders to meet 22 parties over Women's Reservation Bill
(Sourced from PTI)
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha has decided to consult 22 political parties, including Congress and BJP, as part of its effort to build consensus on the Women's Reservation Bill, pending in Parliament. The BJD, headed by CM Naveen Patnaik, resolved at a meeting yesterday 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% reservations for women in Parliament and state Assemblies. Interestingly, a release issued by the party listing the names of BJD representatives, who would meet representatives of various parties, didn't mention Patnaik's name.
BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said, besides Congress and BJP, ruling party leaders will meet representatives of the Trinamool Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the CPI, the CPI(M) and the NCP. The will also meet the leaders of 15 regional parties, including the AAP, the AIDMK, the DMK, the INLD, the JD(S), the JD(U), the National Conference, the PDP, the JMM and the RJD.
The Odisha Assembly on November 20 had unanimously passed a resolution seeking reservation of one-third seats for women in Parliament and state Assemblies. Earlier, the Odisha government had raised the reservation for women in panchayats and urban local bodies to 50% from 33% in 2011. Meanwhile, Union Minister (Petroleum & Natural Gas) Dharmendra Pradhan criticized the BJD's move, dubbing it as an "eyewash".
The all-party meet development came a day after the Chief Minister 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.