Bhubaneswar: The opposition Congress in Odisha on Friday said it would launch a women-centric campaign during the upcoming elections for Lok Sabha and the State Assembly.
“We will start women-centric campaigns in the upcoming elections,” All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) president Sushmita Dev said here.
Dev made the announcement after presiding over the executive meeting of the Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress at the Congress Bhawan here.
Stating that women constitute 49% of Odisha’s population, Dev said the campaigns would highlight the plight of women in the State and in the country.
“Government data shows that not more than 13% of the girls go for higher education, and there has been a steady rise in the number of crimes against women, particularly rape, in Odisha,” she said.
Dev said that there have also been many incidents of women trafficking in the tribal-dominated areas of the State, and livelihood programmes for women have not given the desired results.
“Our agenda will be women safety. I have been to the house of the Pipili rape and murder victim. The government has not been able to give justice to her family,” she said, adding, the Congress will also give stress to the positive aspects of women welfare.
“We will spell out what the Congress government will do for women if it comes to power,” Dev said. Apart from digital election campaigns, the Congress will launch door-to-door programmes, too, she said. She also pointed out that public meetings are mostly bereft of women participation. “About 85% of women voters do not attend public meetings.”
On Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s campaign for 33% seat reservation for women in Parliament and State Assemblies, she said, “Before seeking support from political parties, let the CM have a look at his ministry, the number of women he has inducted and the number of women representing the State Assembly.”
Meanwhile, the Pradesh Mahila Congress will gherao the State Assembly during the Budget Session, the AIMC chief said.