Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed happiness over Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s support to 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures.

Gandhi has written to Congress-ruled states’ chief ministers to pass resolutions supporting passage of women reservation bill in Parliament.

Patnaik had earlier written to his counterparts in other states seeking their support to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures.

“I am glad, he (Rahul Gandhi) has done that. I hope other parties do this as well,” the Odisha Chief Minister told reporters here.

Patnaik had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 4 urging him to initiate steps to ensure reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures.

The Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33 per cent of seats for women in Parliament and in all assemblies, was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

Having written to PM Narendra Modi, the CM moved a resolution in Odisha Assembly which was unanimously adopted.

He went on to depute senior leaders of the BJD to talk to leaders of all national and regional parties eliciting their support for reservation for women.

Patnaik has also directed his party MPs to raise the issue forcefully in Parliament.

The opposition BJP here has dismissed it as yet another pre-poll stunt of the CM. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the CM is shedding crocodile tears for women. “The women reservation bill has been debated and discussed for over a decade now and everybody has taken a position. The BJD’s participation in such debates both inside and outside the parliament needs to be taken note of to understand the newfound pro-activeness of the CM,” said Pradhan.

Atrocities on women are on the rise in Odisha, the shelter home scandal is the latest, noted Pradhan.

(With PTI inputs)