The women’s wings of the three major political parties in Odisha have become more active since the State Assembly passed a resolution unanimously for providing 33% reservation for women in the Legislative Assemblies and Parliament on November 20 last year. Ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the State, the number of meetings and demonstrations by the women’s wings of the ruling Biju Janata Dal and Opposition Congress and BJP has also started multiplying after Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik took up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 4. Mr. Patnaik had urged Mr. Modi to initiate necessary steps for passing the Women’s Reservation Bill for reservation of one-third seats in Parliament and State Legislatures for women. “I assure full support of my government in providing women their rightful place in the decision-making process,” Mr. Patnaik wrote to Mr. Modi.The Chief Minister, who has been focussing on women’s empowerment, has not stopped there. Senior party leaders have been meeting top leaders of different parties across the country seeking their support for passage of the Bill in Parliament.Positive signs In fact, the three major parties have also strengthened their women’s wings in the recent months. While the BJD and the Congress have appointed new presidents in their women’s wings, the BJP has inducted some prominent women to add strength to its women’s wing. Such has become the political atmosphere that women leaders of these parties from far-off districts have started frequenting Bhubaneswar hoping to get party tickets. They are of the view that more women will be given tickets to contest the coming elections even if the Bill is not passed in Parliament. “This is a positive sign that more and more women are coming forward to actively participate in politics. Odisha has produced many women leaders, including former Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy, in the past and the current trend should be encouraged by different parties,” said political analyst Rabi Das. Buoyant by the developments with regard to women’s political participation, transgender rights activists too have become active in their work with the hope that they may also be given tickets by different parties. “Time has come for all parties to give tickets to transgender people to ensure their participation in the decision-making process,” said Meera Parida, chairman of the All Odisha Transgender Welfare Trust.