Congress releases first list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections


The Congress party on Thursday released the first list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, which will begin on February 10. The party has given substantial representation to women in the upcoming elections, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. "Out of the total 125 candidates, 40 per cent are women and 40 per cent are youth. With this historic initiative, we hope to bring in a new kind of politics in the state," she said at a virtual meeting.

There are 50 women candidates in the list, including the mother of Unnao rape victim, said Vadra. “From Shahjahanpur, we have fielded Asha worker Poonam Pandey who led an agitation for a raise in honorarium,” she added.

In the past few months, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced several women-centric promises including smartphones to Class 12 pass girls, electric scooters to graduating women, and skill development schools for women. Vadra, who has been leading the Congress’ charge in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, also released the party’s manifesto last month.

The Congress has divided the manifesto into six sections: self-respect, self-reliance, education, empowerment, security and health.

The Congress party has been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for nearly three decades and Vadra has been desperately trying to change that. However, the task looks nearly impossible, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deploying all its resources and challengers Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaving no stone unturned.

After making the populist announcements, the Congress also started direct interactions with women, bringing women’s issues into political focus. It has has also made “Ladki hoon lad sakti hoon (I am a girl, I can fight)” a war cry for the upcoming polls after not left with any strong base in the politics of caste and community. It also organised a few women’s marathon races under the “Ladki hoon lad sakti hoon” campaign, but suspended the campaign due to rising number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)