Shillong, Feb 28: Eyeing the women vote bank, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister and LJP president Ramvilas Paswan has expressed concern at the lack of reservation for women in Meghalaya Assembly despite the society following a matrilineal system.
If the Lok Janashakti Party is voted to power, Mr Paswan assured an election rally yesterday, his party would work for empowerment of women and push for reservation of seats for them in Parliament and the Assembly. In Meghalaya, the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo communities follow the matrilineal system wherein the surname is traced from the mother's side.
''As a positive step towards this goal (empowerment of women), party tickets for four out of the 18 seats to be contested by LJP, had been allotted to women,'' Mr Paswan said.
The Union Minister said his party was committed to the welfare of the downtrodden. ''My party is committed to working for the Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, OBCs and Dalits,'' he said.
''It is sad to see that despite attaining statehood 36 years ago, Meghalaya has still remained underdeveloped due to poor infrastructure and slow growth of industries,'' he opined.
Pointing out the need of setting up of industries for creating more jobs to tackle the problem of unemployment, Mr Paswan said there was an urgent need to adopt adequate measures to check deforestation so that climatic conditions did not deteriorate in the state.
On the party's chances in the elections, Mr Paswan said the LJP would win at least six seats. 'With the prospect of a hung Assembly looming, LJP will play an important role in formation of the next government,'' Mr Paswan added. The LJP has no MLA or any representative in any local body in Meghalaya.