LUCKNOW: The Congress Thursday announced its first list of 125 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, which includes 50 women. Among the candidates was Asha Singh, the mother of the Unnao rape victim, and Ramraj Gond, who had spearheaded the Gond tribals’ legal battle over land in Umbha village in Sonbhadra.Gond is the president of the Sonbhadra district Congress committee.
“Tickets given to struggling women, from organization to journalist, tickets have also been given to women from the acting field,” said Priyanka Gandhi.
“Out of the total 125 candidates, 40 per cent are women and 40 per cent are the youth. With this historic initiative, we hope to bring in a new kind of politics in the state,” Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said in a virtual press conference.
Here Is The List Of the Full 125 Candidates Of Congress:
The other candidates include Poonam Pandey, an Asha worker who was allegedly roughed up by the police while trying to meet UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Shahjahanpur in November last year, and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, who was in jail in connection with the anti-CAA stir in the state.
“Our list sends a new message that if you have been a victim of harassment and torture, the Congress will support you,” said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had earlier released a women-centric “Ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon (I’m a girl and can fight)” campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Forty per cent of the tickets have been reserved for women, Ms Gandhi said.
“Our aim is to strengthen our party and for our candidates to fight on people’s issues. We will not indulge in a negative campaign. Our campaign will be about development and the progress of Dalits and backwards,” she said.
“What I have started in UP, I will continue and I will stay in the state even after the elections. I will strengthen the party further in the state,” she added.
The Congress, which has been reduced to a virtual non-player in Uttar Pradesh over the past years , has been focusing on gender equality in view of the spiraling crimes against women in the state. Some of these cases — including the gangrape of a Dalit woman in Hathras, and the case in Unnao — made headlines and provoked outrage across the country.
The Unnao rape case came into limelight after the victim attempted suicide outside the residence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. She tried to kill herself after her 55-year-old father was thrashed allegedly by Sengar’s brother. He died the next day, reportedly due to the injuries he had sustained. This incident led to a nationwide uproar with civil bodies and citizens demanding justice for the minor.
In December 2019, Senger was convicted and jailed for life in a separate case for raping the woman in Unnao in 2017 when she was a minor.
Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases between February 10 and March 7, with results being declared on March 10.