Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, has written a letter to the prime minister Narendra Modi urging the latter to initiate the process for reservation of  one-third seats in both Parliament and state assemblies for women.

“I request you to take the leadership in initiating necessary steps for passing the Bill for reservation of one-third of seats in Parliament and State Legislatures for women,” stated Patnaik in his letter to PM. He assured full support from the state government for providing women their rightful place in the decision-making process.

Patnaik said taking the historic decision to empower women in the country would be the finest tribute to the father of the nation on his 150th birth anniversary.

The chief minister has written : “Empowerment of women is the empowerment of the nation. No household, no society, no state, 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 our country.”

The Odisha state assembly in its recently concluded winter session has adopted a unanimous resolution to provide for one-third reservation to women in Parliament as well as the state legislatures.

In 2011, the Odisha government enhanced the reservation for women in rural and urban local bodies to 50 per cent.