When the chips are down, and at the bottom, you have all the time and opportunity to start from the scratch and experiment. And who would know this better than the could-have-been-Indira Gandhi-touch but lost it, Priyanka Gandhi, reluctantly Vadra. And so, as promised, Priyanka has fielded 40% women candidates in a Congress list of 125 candidates for Uttar Pradesh elections declared on Thursday.
And who are her Congress party’s woman candidates? One is Asha Singh, the mother of the Unnao rape victim. There is Sadaf Jafar, an English school teacher, a theatre activist and who has gone to jail for leading anti-CAA protests.
Then there is Ritu Singh , a former Samajwadi Party leader. She joined the Congress last year.
We have Poonam Pandey, an ASHA worker and activist who had fought for the rights of ASHA workers has been deployed from Shahjahanpur. Babita Gurjar, an activist from Kithore assembly seat from Meerut district, is part of the Gurjar Samaj Mahila morcha as an activist. Archana Gautam, a Tamil actress, she has been nominated for Hastinapur seat from Meerut district.
And there is Aradhna Misra Mona, member of 17th Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh. Misra represents Rampur Khas of Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh. She is the daughter of senior Congress leader, Pramod Tiwari. Vetern Louise Khurshid from Farrukhabad, wife of prominent politician Salman Khurshid is also there.
Announcing the names at a press conference in Lucknow, Priyanka said, “I don’t see this as creating a new vote bank of young women. I see this as empowering women to ask for their rights and stand up for themselves. They are 50% of the population, and frankly, it is their right to participate in politics.”
She also added the party’s U.P. in-charge said they would like to strengthen its organisation and work towards dislodging the Yogi Adityanath government.
“Today, the government in Uttar Pradesh is a dictatorial government,” she said, adding that her party would be open to supporting a non-BJP alliance post-poll if the need arises.
The party has given tickets to journalists, actors and social workers who have struggled on the streets for their rights. The UP assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7.