Pramila Mallik, a prominent member of the Biju Janta Dal, was chosen without opposition as the new speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Friday. She was elected as the state’s first female speaker. Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister and president of the BJD, proposed Mallik as the candidate for the position on Wednesday.
Pramila Mallik said, “I am very happy on being elected as Speaker, I would like to thank Chief Minister and Party President Naveen Patnaik who has always been at the forefront of women empowerment on social as well as political front.”
Women MLAs of Biju Janta Dal greeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and thanked him on Pramila Mallik being elected as the first women Speaker of Odisha.
Senior Biju Janta Dal leader Debi Mishra said, “Naveen Patnaik has always been ahead in setting an example to take women empowerment on priority, Biju Janata Dal is the first party which gave 33 per cent tickets to women in the 2019 Loksabha election and the first party to make 50 per cent reservation for women in local elected bodies.”
“Biju Janta Dal is the first party to make more than 70 per cent women Zila Parishad presidents. Odisha is the state with the highest representation of women in parliament. Pramila Bisoyi the eldest Member of Parliament is from BJD and Chandrani Murmu was elected as MP at the age of 25 (in 2019) is from BJD,” said a statement from Biju Janta Dal.
Six times elected to the Binjharpur Assembly Constituency, Pramila Mallik was first elected in 1990 on the Janta Dal ticket and again in 2000 on the Biju Janta Dal ticket. She has also served as the party’s chief whip in the state assembly and a cabinet minister in Naveen Patnaik’s BJD administration.