Priyanka announces 40% tickets to women in UP polls

Priyanka announces 40% tickets to women in UP polls
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Lucknow, Oct 19 (IANS) | Publish Date: 10/19/2021 1:11:42 PM IST

In a major decision that could prove to be a game-changer for the Congress, in particular and, Indian politics, in general, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Tuesday, announced that her party would give 40 per cent tickets to women in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

She said that all women who want to bring about a change in the system, are welcome to come forward and contest elections.

“Any woman who wants to contest can give an application till October 15,” she announced at a press conference.

Priyanka said the decision was for the woman named Paro, who had held her hand in Prayagraj and had said that she wanted to join politics.

“This decision is for Vaishnavi in Chandauli and the sisters-in-law of two rape victims of Hathras and Unnao, who are fighting for justice and against the system.

“This is for every woman who wants to be heard -- whether it is Laxmi Valmiki of Lucknow who wants to be a doctor, the daughter of journalist Raman Kashyap who was killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

“This is also for two women constables -- Madhu and Pooja, who arrested me in Sitapur and were with me till 4.a.m. Power today amounts to trampling over the weaker sections of society, primarily women,” Priyanka said.

She said that women were not only stronger but more compassionate and sensitive and could bring a change in the political system.

Asked whether the same formula of 40 per cent reservation for women would be extended to the Congress-ruled states, including Punjab, Priyanka said, “I am in charge of UP and we have taken this decision here. If they (Punjab), they are welcome to implement the formula.”

She said that women were being divided on the basis of caste which weakened their battle for justice.

“A woman’s struggle is not limited to a gas cylinder or Rs 2,000. It goes beyond that. We have to rise above the shackles of casteism and communalism and come together as a group,” she said.

Priyanka, when asked whether wives and daughters of leaders would not take advantage of this reservation, said, “What is wrong with that if it leads to empowerment. In Amethi, a village pradhan’s wife contested and won elections. After some months, he met me and said that his wife has started making decisions in the house as well. This is empowerment.”

She said the Congress would help women fight elections and next time, they will be stronger. She further said that the candidates would be decided on the basis of merit.

Priyanka, however, parried questions about the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and whether she would contest elections.

“These issues will be decided later and we will let you know,” she stated.

Talking about the opposition onslaught on her, Priyanka said, “The other parties should get more creative when they attack me. Political tourist and Twitter leader have become stale,” she said.

‘One day I have to’: Priyanka Gandhi on contesting from Rae Bareli or Amethi

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday said that she has to contest elections one day when asked if she will contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh from Rae Bareli or Amethi seat. “One day I have to contest, though I have not taken a decision yet..., no answer, for the time being, will see later,” she responded on being asked about her plan to contest next year’s UP polls from either of the two seats.

Rae Bareli is Congress chief and Priyanka’s mother Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency while Amethi was once party’s old bastion. Congress leader and Priyanka’s brother Rahul Gandhi had made his electoral debut from Amethi Lok Sabha seat in 2004 when Sonia moved to Rae Bareli, a seat once represented by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Rahul, a three-time MP from Amethi, lost the seat to BJP’s Smriti Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Former Union minister and senior party leader Salman Khurshid recently said that the party will contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Priyanka. The senior Congress leader, however, made it clear that the face for the party’s Chief Minister candidate was not decided as of now.

Uttar Pradesh will go to Assembly polls early next year, along with Punjab and some other states.

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