UP Polls: Congress releases first candidate list including 50 womentext_fields
New Delhi: Congress on Thursday announced its first list of 125 candidates, including 50 women who have been at forefront of their causes, for the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The names who are on the list are from diverse backgrounds which include the mother of Unnao Rape survivor and Ritu Singh former Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate for block Parmukh, who was allegedly manhandled and was prevented from filing nomination by the BJP workers.
The list declared by the party's general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra includes Poonam Pandey, an Asha Worker; Nida Ahmed, a journalist; and social activist Sadaf Jafar from Lucknow who was at forefront of anti-CAA protests; Alpana Nishad from Prayagraj is fighting for the rights of her community; Pankhuri Pathak from Noida is the urban face and party spokesperson.
Congress has focused on women in ticket distribution and has fulfilled the promise of 40 per cent in the first list. The party said it has given 40 per cent tickets to the youth in the party.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had earlier announced that 40 per cent of the tickets would be given to women and had coined a slogan -- 'girls can fight'.
Priyanka said, "We wanted to give a chance to the people who have been fighting for their rights, so the real people will get the chance to fight for their cause." She said that political rights need to be given to women.
Addressing an online press conference while releasing the party's candidate list, the Congress leader said that the party has tried to change the political narrative of the state and wants that there should be a discussion on employment, health, law and order and other women related issues.
She also added that the party wants to bring in a new kind of politics in the state by putting those who have fought for justice at the forefront of electoral politics and by focussing on positive campaigns instead of negative narratives.
The candidate list also includes Aradhna Mishra the CLP leader; Ajay Kumar Lallu State President; Suhail Akhtar sitting MLA; Ajay Kapoor, former MLA; Akhilesh Pratap Singh, national spokesperson of the party; Vivek Bansal party In-charge of Haryana; Louis Khursheed, wife of Salman Khursheed and former MLA.
Priyanka Gandhi skirted a question on whether she would contest the assembly polls but said she would remain in Uttar Pradesh even after the polls and continue to raise issues of people.
"I will continue my efforts and will remain in UP even after elections. But if my party wants me to play a role elsewhere, I will fulfil that. I will continue to raise issues of people and bring in a new kind of politics," she said.
"I feel very strongly that we need to steer politics, not just of UP, but of the country, into a more positive and constructive direction," she said.
She also added her party would certainly support any other party after the elections to keep the BJP out of power.
Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to have seven-phase polls beginning on February 10 and ending on March 7. Results will be announced on March 10.