The Congress on Thursday released its party’s first list of 125 candidates, including 50 women, for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, fielding the Unnao rape victim’s mother Asha Singh from the Unnao assembly seat.
Anti-CAA activist and party spokesperson in Uttar Pradesh, Sadaf Jafar is the Congress candidate from the Lucknow central seat.
Asha worker and activist Poonam Pandey, who fought for the rights of Asha workers has been fielded from Shahjahanpur and Ram Raj Gond, a tribal leader who fought for the rights of Adivasis in Sonbhadra, has been fielded from the Ponga constituency in the state.
The Congress also fielded PCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu from Tamkuhi Raj seat and Aradhna Misra Mona, the party’s leader in Vidhan Sabha, from Rampur Khas and former union minister Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid from Farrukhabad constituency.
Addressing an online press conference, AICC general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said 40 per cent of the Congress candidates are women and another 40 per cent are youth and by doing so the party is making a new and historic beginning.
She said the party has fielded such candidates who have struggled for seeking justice in Uttar Pradesh and the party wants them to come to the forefront and be a part of power in the state.
Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to have seven-phase polls beginning from February 10 to March 7 and the results will be out on March 10.
Congress is banking on women power and has announced that it will reserve 40 per cent of seats for women candidates in the upcoming polls.
Vadra has said that Congress will seek to empower women and urge them to enter politics as it is their right since they comprise 50 per cent of the population.
”We are mobilising women to stand up for themselves and ask what is rightfully theirs to participate in the political process with the energy, strength and capacity that they actually have,” she said.
Vadra said she does not see this as a separate vote bank for them.
“I see this as empowering women to ask for their rights and stand up for themselves and see it as their right. It is absolutely their right to participate in politics, as they comprise 50 per cent of the population,” she told reporters.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “In Unnao, the one with whose daughter the BJP did injustice, now she will become the face of justice – will fight and win!#Election2022.”
Priyanka Gandhi said Congress wants Asha Singh to carry forward her struggle and get justice.
“I want her to take power in her hands and carry forward her fight,” she said, adding that the party has given tickets to journalists, actors, activists and social workers who have struggled on the streets for justice and for their rights.