PoliticsUP: 40 percent women in the first list of...

UP: 40 percent women in the first list of Congress candidates, ticket to Unnao victim’s mother

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra released the first list of 125 candidates in a digital press conference and specifically mentioned the names of 50 women candidates. A few months back, Priyanka Gandhi had announced that the party would give 40 percent tickets to women in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, while launching the campaign ‘I can fight the girl’.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi during the ‘I am a girl, can fight’ campaign. (File photo credit: Twitter)

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday released its first list of 125 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, of which 40 per cent are women. The party has also given ticket to the mother of the Unnao gang rape case victim. Most of these women will be fielding for the first time.

Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra released the first list of candidates through a digital press conference and specifically mentioned the names of 50 women candidates.

A few months ago (October 2021), Priyanka Gandhi had announced that the party would give 40 percent tickets to women in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, while launching the ‘Girl Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign.

The first list released by the party for Uttar Pradesh includes party Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’, former Union Minister Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid as well as Sadaf Jafar and many other women struggling in various fields.

Congress has nominated Asha Singh, mother of Unnao gang rape case victim. Congress and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had loudly raised the demand for justice in this case and targeted the BJP government of Uttar Pradesh.

On giving ticket to Asha Singh from Unnao, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, ‘Whose daughter was wronged by BJP in Unnao, now she will become the face of justice – will fight, win!’

Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post, ‘We are bringing a huge change in the country and it has started from Uttar Pradesh. Keeping our promise, we released the list of 125 candidates, in which 50 are women candidates. The special thing is that the list of these candidates also includes those people who have got injustice at the hands of the BJP government, like Unnao victim’s mother (Asha Singh).

According to him, ‘There is a woman (Poonam Pandey) among these candidates, who raised her voice against the exploitation of the Asha sisters by the BJP government. Have fought till now, they have also been given tickets. There is a woman (Sadaf Jafar), who fought hard against the CAA, which broke the unity of the country of BJP. The woman (Ritu Singh) who was tortured by BJP goons in the Panchayat elections of Uttar Pradesh is also associated with this campaign for justice.

Announcing the candidates, Priyanka said, “The Congress party is releasing the first list of 125 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, of which 50 are women. We have tried to give tickets to women who try new politics.

He said, ‘Our Unnao candidate is Asha Singh ji, the mother of the gang rape victim. She wanted to contest elections. We have given them a chance.

After getting the ticket, Asha Singh expressed her gratitude to the party and Priyanka Gandhi.

He tweeted, ‘Grateful to the Congress party for supporting me in my struggle and in my fight. Thanks to Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi ji for declaring me the Congress candidate from Unnao Sadar.’

Former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Unnao case for rape. Sengar was also convicted in the death of the victim’s father.

Congress Legislature Party leader and senior leader Pramod Tiwari’s daughter Aradhana Mishra is contesting from her current seat, Rampur Khas (Pratapgarh). Lewis has been fielded from Farrukhabad, Pankhuri Pathak from Noida, Alpana Nishad from Allahabad-South, Poonam Pandey from Shahjahanpur and Sadaf Jafar from Lucknow-Central.

Poonam Pandey is an ASHA worker. Last year, Poonam, along with other ASHA workers, was allegedly assaulted by the police while they were marching towards Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow, demanding an increase in honorarium.

A video of the incident then went viral. Later Poonam, who had bruises on her face and plaster in her right hand, met Priyanka Gandhi along with other ASHA workers. Congress has now fielded him from Shahjahanpur constituency.

At the same time, artist-turned-activist Sadaf Jafar was arrested in Lucknow on December 19, 2019, when she was doing Facebook Live in protest against CAA-NRC. He was booked on charges of attempt to murder, rioting, criminal conspiracy, assault on public servant etc.

She was also among the activists whose posters were put up by the UP government at major intersections in Lucknow, in which she was described as a ‘rioter’. He had also received a recovery notice from the government, asking him to pay for property damages during the violent protests.

According to the Indian Express report, Ritu Singh is a former SP worker. Last year, she was the SP-supported candidate for the post of block chief of Pasgawan in Lakhimpur Kheri district.

He had alleged that one of his election proponents was assaulted by a section of men to thwart his application for filing nominations.

He had accused some BJP workers of tearing his clothes to prevent his supporters from becoming his proponents. A video of the incident had gone viral on social media.

Another Congress candidate, Pankhuri Pathak, who hails from Uttarakhand, grew up in Delhi. She will contest from Gautam Buddha Nagar. His parents are doctors. As a student of Delhi University, Pankhuri was joint secretary in DU’s Hansraj College.

Later she joined the Samajwadi Party and worked for its youth organization. In 2016, she became the party’s first woman spokesperson, but in early 2019, she resigned to join the Congress following differences with other party members.

Her husband Anil Yadav, who was the spokesperson of the SP, had also resigned and joined the Congress last year. Pankhuri is currently the Vice President of the UP Media Department of Congress.

Apart from these women, 36-year-old Nida Ahmed, born in a family of Sambhal, who was associated with Congress, has also been nominated by the party.

Nida started working as a journalist in Delhi about 12 years ago. TV anchor Nida has been a part of other media organizations including Aaj Tak, Zee Media, News India 24×7. She had joined the Congress earlier this week. He has been given a ticket from Sambhal.

26-year-old actress and model Archana Gautam is the Congress party’s candidate from Meerut’s Hastinapur seat (SC-Reserved). He is a well-known face of Hindi and Tamil films.

He has done his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication from IIMT, Meerut. She had joined the Congress last year at an event in Lucknow.

Archana won the title of Miss UP in 2014 while studying at IIMT. She won the title of Miss Bikini India in 2018 – the same year she represented India at Miss Cosmos World and won the title of Miss Talent.

Along with this, State Congress Committee President Ajay Kumar Lallu will contest from the Tamkuhiraj assembly seat of Kushinagar, from where he is currently an MLA.

Vivek Bansal will contest from Aligarh’s Kol, Anugrah Narayan Singh from Allahabad-North, Pradeep Mathur from Mathura, Ajay Rai from Pindra in Varanasi and Tanuj Poonia from Zaidpur seat of Barabanki.

The Congress has also declared some candidates for some assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh near Delhi. Apart from Pankhuri Pathak from Noida, Manoj Chaudhary and Deepak Chotiwala from Dadri and Sushant Goyal from Ghaziabad and Brijendra Yadav from Muradnagar have been given ticket from Jewar assembly seat of Gautam Budh Nagar.

The Congress has also tried to maintain social balance in the selection of candidates. Under this effort, he has given tickets to 20 people from the Muslim community, of whom six are women.

32 candidates have been fielded from the scheduled caste community and one candidate from the scheduled tribe community. Similarly, the party has declared 18 Brahmin candidates and given tickets to 23 people from Other Backward Classes (OBC).

On the question of giving tickets to women in large numbers, he said, ‘When we started talking about women, all the parties started making announcements. BJP, SP, RLD, BSP all made announcements. Our success is that women can no longer be ignored.

Priyanka Gandhi also said that her party will campaign positively, not negative in Uttar Pradesh, so that the future of the state can be groomed. She said that even after this election, she would continue to work to strengthen the party in Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases. The first phase of polling will be held on February 10 and the seventh and last phase of polling will be held on March 7. The results will be declared on March 10.

(with input from news agency language)

Categories: Politics, Special

Tagged as: Archana Gautam, Asha Singh, Candidates List, Congress, Congress’s Women Candidates, News, Nida Ahmad, Pankhuri Pathak, Poonam Pandey, Priyanka Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ritu Singh, Sadaf Jafar, The Wire Hindi, Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022, Uttar Pradesh Congress

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