Thursday, 27 January, 2022

Priyanka Gandhi announces list of UP poll candidates

Priyanka Gandhi announces list of UP poll candidates

New Delhi: Indian National Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi announced the party's first list of 125 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh elections which features 50 women.

On Thursday, she disclosed names of the party’s ticket-holders sparking a sensation in the political and social arena. The most surprising candidates are anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (ACC) activist Sadaf Zafar, who was arrested during a movement, and Asha Sing, mother of `Unnao' rape victims.

Unnao is a district in Uttar Pradesh where a 17-year-old girl was gang-raped on June 4, 2017, creating a huge uproar in the country.

Later, ruling BJP leader Kuldeep Singh Senger was convicted of the rape with others.

The rape survivor attempted to immolate herself at the residence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after her father died in judicial custody.

These incidents brought public attention to the case and it was reported widely on national and foreign media. Another social health activist Poonam Pandey was also given ticket who was allegedly beaten by the Uttar Pradesh police while agitating for a raise of in honorarium for the health workers.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Priyanka said these candidates would help usher in a new style of politics in the country. Indian National Congress is the first political party to announce first list of candidates for the crucial Uttar Pradesh election. But she has not declared herself as a possible candidate for the assembly poll.

Priyanka also said, "We have tried to include candidates who have struggled and can start a new form of politics in the country. 40 percent of candidates are women and 40 percent are from youth. The women candidates include some journalists, one actor, women who have struggled hard for the party for years."

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi, "In Unnao, whose daughter was wronged by the BJP, now she will become the face of justice - will fight, will win!"

On being asked if Gandhi will contest the UP polls, she said, "What I’ve started in UP, I will continue fighting for that. I want to strengthen our party so that we can continue to bring issues that matter on the main stage."

The upcoming elections shall be held in 7 phases from February 10 to March 7. Counting of votes will take place on March 10.

Uttar Pradesh will see multi-corner contest as the ruling BJP will face Samajwadi party, a regional party formed by former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, a Dalit party led by former chief minister Mayawati, and Congress led by Priyanka Gandhi.