Lucknow: Declaring their first pledge for the upcoming polls, AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Tuesday announced to reserve 40 per cent party tickets for women for the 2022 Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.
“In Uttar Pradesh, Congress will reserve 40 per cent tickets for women. It is our pledge that women will have full participation in the politics of Uttar Pradesh,” said Priyanka.
Asking more women to come and join the fight with her to change the politics of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka said the collection of applications for poll tickets has been extended till November 15. She also said she had wanted to reserve 50 per cent seats but after consultations with others, she decided to reserve 40 per cent for women. In UP, which has 403 Assembly seats, it would mean Congress will keep 160 tickets for women candidates.
देश एवं उत्तरप्रदेश की महिलाओं को समर्पित मेरी प्रेस वार्ता।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) October 19, 2021
Asked why 40 per cent, Priyanka said, “It is just the beginning and in the next election, it can be 50 per cent also. I announced it for Uttar Pradesh being the AICC General Secretary in-charge of the state and if other states want to follow, it is up to them.”
Asked if the decision leads Congress leaders to field their wives and other women members of the family, Priyanka said she doesn’t find anything wrong in it and added, it will usher in empowerment of women. She, however, added that the selection will be done purely on the basis of merit.
Citing examples of her meeting women during her visits to Uttar Pradesh in the last two years, Priyanka said, “The decision is for common women, for students of Allahabad University, who told me that there is bias in rules for girls. For women I met during the Ganga Yatra in Prayagraj who told me that they want to become politicians, the girl in Chandauli whose pilot brother was martyred, a girl in Lakhimpur who told me she wants to become the Prime Minister. A woman named Laxmi Valmiki in Lucknow and others.”
Priyanka said the decision has been taken to bring about a change in the politics of Uttar Pradesh and asked women to unite be it in social service, teaching or in the media. “Aap badalav chahti hain to intezar mat kariye. Aapki suraksha koi nahi karne wala (If you want a change, don’t wait. Nobody will protect you),” she said, adding, “politics of hate” can be changed by women through this decision.
She said that the politics of caste and religion can be changed into politics of development only by bringing women into politics.
Claiming that the decision is for “empowerment” of women, Priyanka said, “My fight is to bring about a change in politics. It is for those who are unable to raise their voice. It is to bring about a change here and introduce a politics of service instead of the politics of beating and trampling.”
Priyanka also asked other parties to charge their style of attacking her instead of mocking her visits as “politics of tourism”.
On whether she would contest the election, Priyanka said a decision on that is yet to be taken.