Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already pushed electoral climate of Orissa into the quandary by polluting voters’ mind with huge money sent to their accounts under various welfare banners after the voter-lists for election were finally published setting the electoral process in motion awaiting only for the CEC to declare the dates.
However, the worst to happen to our derailed democracy is the CM’s declaration to plant women candidates in 33% seats for the Assembly as well as the Lok Sabha, in blatant disregard to the political courtesy of consulting rival political parties in this highly sensitive matter to ascertain if they are prepared for this game. Democracy doesn’t countenance the killing of rival parties in such a nonsensical way. The country has not yet framed any law to reserve 33% of the seats in Parliament and/or in the Assemblies for women. Before playing such a card, the ruling party should have made a law for 33% reservation of legislative berths for the fair sex, so that all the parties could have prepared their cadres accordingly. Therefore, Orissa CM’s assertion to plant 33% of candidates in the elections and translating the assertion into action, goes not only against the internal democratic harmony the opposition parties in Orissa have been maintaining in their respective organizations so far, but also is injurious to the spirit of democracy by the ruling party challenging the rival parties on a very uneven ground.
The wrong motivated step of Mr. Naveen Patnaik has not only put the non-BJD parties in jeopardy but also has hit the BJD itself. Nomination of a 68 years old almost illiterate woman namely Pramila Bisoyi as the BJD candidate for Lok Sabha from Aska is suggestive of this syndrome. Lok Sabha is the law-making body of the country and over and above any other Bills, the Money Bills are moved and passed there and the continuance of Indian Prime Minister in office dependents upon the pleasure of this House. What role Smt. Bisoyi shall play as a member in this House? With no disrespect to Smt. Bisoyi, can we not ponder over what respect she shall attract for Orissa through her participation in Lok Sabhas, the country’s central lawmaking, and money sanctioning body?
Mr. Chief Minister, send as many women of legislative acumen to the Lok Sabha as you can if voters of Orissa stand with you. But please do not make a farce of the fair sex by planting some of them in the Lok Sabha where debates depend upon education, knowledge, interpretation and legislative expertise and experience. Orissa has a small representation in Lok Sabha. Let not a representative remain de facto defunct.