Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, which proposes reservation of one-third of seats in Parliament and state legislatures for women. Patnaik also assured the Prime Minister that Odisha government would provide full support to women in their rightful place in the decision-making process.
"I would like to request your good-self to take the lead in initiating necessary steps for passing the Bill for reservation of one-third of seats in Parliament and state legislature for women," Patnaik said in a letter to Modi.
The CM said it would be the finest tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary, as he always spoke of gender equality and empowerment of women. Patnaik said no household, no society, no state and no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women.
"The principle of gender equality is enshrined in our Constitution. The country will move forward with much greater momentum only if the other half of our population, our mothers, sisters and daughters have a role in the highest decision-making bodies of our states and country," he said. He said in 2011, the Odisha government had enhanced the reservation for women in panchayats and urban local bodies to 50 per cent from 33 per cent.
(With inputs from agencies.)