Bhubaneswar: “Empowerment of women is the empowerment of the nation. No household, society, State and country has ever moved forward without empowering its women,” said Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Supremo Naveen Patnaik while addressing the partymen on 24th Foundation Day of the party here today.
He described ‘women empowerment’ as his favourite programme of his administration.
“I am confident that the mothers and sisters who run their households so efficiently will run the Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad with equal competence,” he said quoting late Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.
“Mothers are the Axle of wheel in the society. Without their progress, the chariot can never move forward,” he added.
Speaking about women empowerment, Patnaik said, “Biju Babu had scripted history by giving 33% reservation for women in Panchayatiraj, urban bodies and government jobs. The ruling BJD based on ideology of Biju Babu has made 50% reservation for women in Panchayat and urban bodies. Moreover, the party has been fighting to give 33% reservation to women in Assembly and Parliament as the party believes in action not in words,” adding “BJD is the only political party in the country that had given 33% tickets to women in 2019 general elections.”
Targeting the national parties, Patnaik said that the slogan for women empowerment is only confined to their speech during election rallies. After elections, the national parties forget to meet their commitments.
“The national parties remember women empowerment during elections and commit in their manifesto only to conveniently forget after winning the elections. We can not deprive half of our population of their rights. They must have their rightful place in the political space of our country,” Patnaik said.
“Even as the BJD is a regional party, it will intensify its movement to provide 33% reservation for women in Assembly and Parliament,” he said stressing that the BJD will keep reminding the national parties about this forgotten promise in every session of Parliament and Legislative Assembly.
Highlighting the BJD Government’s populist schemes, party’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das said that the government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been continued to curb corruption since the party came to power.
“The rigorous efforts for restoration of the State after 1999 Super Cyclone and welfare schemes including Re 1 rice to poor beneficiaries made the party to top in the State. Also, the simple lifestyle of the party supremo Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, his action against corruption and policies for good governance once again raised self confidence among people that had been dumped in past,” he said in his address.
He referred CM Patnaik as ‘ideal leader’ in country stating as to how the party chief is living a simple life.
He urged the party workers to work for the organisation at least for two hours if they love Naveen Patnaik.
“If we love Naveen Babu, we have to give up our self interest and work for the party for two hours a day. Then only, people can see and realise the party’s pro-people approach,” he added.
Reacting to ‘women empowerment’ statement by Patnaik at the party’s 24th Foundation Day, Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim said that the BJD chief was unaware of history.
“Naveen Babu has no knowledge of the fact. He reads the script written by the officers. The Congress, which is a grand old party, has been working for women since the regime of former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi,” the Congress leader said seeking explanation from the BJD on initiatives taken by the ruling party for women.
He termed Naveen Patnaik’s statement on women empowerment as ‘gimmick’.
He suggested the CM to work for ensuring safety to women in the State before speaking about women empowerment.