Bhubaneswar: The Congress in Odisha is rejigging its candidates list to accommodate more and more women for the Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections to be held next month. Simultaneous elections will be held in the state in four phases from April 11,2019.

The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik Wednesday said following the directions from the All India Congress Committee, the state unit is re-drafting its list of candidates to give more tickets to women in the forthcoming elections.

Following the Odisha chief minister and BJD supremo announcing to offer 33% of tickets of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state will be given to the women, the All India Trinamool Chongress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banejee has given 41% of the 34 Lok Sabha tickets in her state to women. This has stirred the political arena in the country.

The Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday promised that his party coming to power would ensure 33% reservation for women in parliament and state assemblies. This has put pressure on the Odisha chief to rejig his list of candidates.

The OPCC, in fact, had finalised its candidate list for the 18 Lok Sabha seats. The party has left Bhubaneswar, Aska and Mayurbhanj seats to CPI(M), CPI and JMM respectively as part of its pre-poll alliance for the elections. The names of Congress MP candidates for first phase elections to 4 seats were supposed to be announced on March 18.