Though Odisha is termed as a backward state in terms of development. But it proves itself very progressive one with regards to women empowerment. It has achieved a record becoming the first state in the Independent India achieving 33 per cent representation in Lok Sabha, without any formal reservation to women. The state is sending 33 per cent women to the Lok Sabha after the just held general elections.
Seven women have been elected from the 21 parliamentary seats in the state. While five women won from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), two emerged victorious from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP winners are Aparajita Sarangi from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency and Sangeeta Singhdeo from Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency.
The BJD’s winning candidates include Pramila Bisoi from Aska, Chandrani Murmu from Keonjhar, Rajashree Mallick from Jagatsin-ghpur, Sarmistha Sethy from Jajpur and Manjulata Mandal from Bhadrak.
Thirty-three per cent women making it to Lok Sabha from Odisha is significant as the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve one-third (or 33.33 per cent) of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies, is still pending in Parliament.
BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik fielded seven women (33 per cent of the party’s total candidates) in the Lok Sabha elections. Of these five got elected.
The BJD has secured 12 Lok Sabha seats, while the BJP won eight and the Congress managed to get one. Out of the 146 Assembly seats, the BJD won 112, while the BJP bagged 23 and Congress secured nine seats. The Communist Party of India-Marxist and an Independent candidate won one seat each.