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Congress fields Unnao rape survivor’s mother in UP polls, women form 40% of 1st party list

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announces 125 candidates for upcoming UP elections. Fifty of the candidates are women, including actor-activist Sadaf Jafar.

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New Delhi: Fifty of the 125 candidates named by the Congress in its first list for the UP assembly elections are women, party general secretary in-charge for the state, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, announced Thursday. UP has a total of 403 assembly constituencies.

One of the significant names among the women candidates is that of Asha Singh, mother of the 2017 Unnao rape survivor. Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar had been convicted in the case by a Delhi court in 2019. He was also convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder the following year, in a case pertaining to her father’s death.

Singh has been fielded from the Unnao constituency.

“The list features 40 per cent women and 40 per cent youth. With this, we want to bring a new kind of politics in Uttar Pradesh,” said Vadra while announcing the names.

The Congress offering seats to 50 women can be seen as an extension of its “Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon (I am a girl, I can fight)” campaign in the state — an initiative helmed by Vadra.

As part of the campaign, she’d promised that over 40 per cent of the Congress’ total candidates for UP will be women. The party had earlier also released a separate women’s manifesto for the election, which promised sops like smartphones for girls studying in classes 10-12, electric scooters for college-going women, free travel for women in government buses and more.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are scheduled to be held in seven phases between 10 February and 7 March. Results will be declared on 10 March.

Actors, ASHA worker feature in list of candidates

Apart from Asha Singh, the Congress has also fielded actor and activist Sadaf Jafar, who was arrested during the anti-CAA protests, from the Lucknow Central seat.

Poonam Pandey, an ASHA worker from Shahjahanpur who’d been at the forefront of protests against the UP government for an increase in their honorarium, is another candidate.

Other nominees include actor Archana Gautam from Hastinapur — a seat reserved for  Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates — and journalist Nida Ahmed, who has been fielded from the Sambhal constituency.

Congress leaders Pankhuri Pathak from Noida and Aradhana Misra ‘Mona’ from Rampur Khas are among the other candidates fielded.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)


Also read: Who’ll be ‘man of the match’ in UP? West-to-east polls has clear answer


 

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