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UP polls: 'Am a woman, I can fight', says Priyanka Gandhi; announces 40% reservation for female candidates

Priyanka Gandhi has been tasked with reviving the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the 2022 assembly election.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Lucknow Updated on: October 19, 2021 17:02 IST
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi 
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi 

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday announced that the party will distribute 40 per cent tickets to women candidates in the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka is in Lucknow today to review the party's preparedness for the upcoming Assembly elections. She has been tasked with reviving the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the 2022 assembly election.

"The Congress party has decided that it will give 40% of the total election tickets to women in the state," Priyanka Gandhi told reporters.

She said that all women who want to bring about a change in the system, are welcome to come forward and contest elections. "Any woman who wants to contest can give an application till October 15," she said.

Asked whether the same formula of 40 per cent reservation for women would be extended to the Congress-ruled states, including Punjab, Priyanka said, "I am in charge of UP and we have taken this decision here. If they (Punjab), they are welcome to implement the formula."

She said that women were being divided on the basis of caste which weakened their battle for justice.

"A woman's struggle is not limited to a gas cylinder or Rs 2,000. It goes beyond that. We have to rise above the shackles of casteism and communalism and come together as a group," she said.

Priyanka, when asked whether wives and daughters of leaders would not take advantage of this reservation, said, "What is wrong with that if it leads to empowerment. In Amethi, a village pradhan's wife contested and won elections. After some months, he met me and said that his wife has started making decisions in the house as well. This is empowerment."

She said Congress would help women fight elections and next time, they will be stronger. She further said that the candidates would be decided on the basis of merit.

Priyanka, however, parried questions about the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and whether she would contest elections. "These issues will be decided later and we will let you know," she stated.

Talking about the opposition onslaught on her, Priyanka said, "The other parties should get more creative when they attack me. Political tourist and Twitter leader have become stale," she said.

Priyanka is touring the poll-bound state for the last few months regularly and meeting the party workers. She is now all set to shift base permanently to Lucknow till elections are held. Priyanka wants to send a message that the Congress workers that the party leadership is serious about its revival plans and want to fight the next assembly polls with full force. Priyanka has asked party workers to strengthen the party at the block level, form committees and reach out to the public.

Priyanka is expected to stay in Lucknow till the elections to overlook the election campaign and tour the 75 districts. She will also play a crucial role in the candidate selection for the polls and possible alliances and strategies.

Following the public opinion after the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Priyanka is looking to engage with people on the ground. Earlier on Saturday, the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body in the part, applauded Priyanka’s stand on the incident.

In the 2017 Assembly polls, Congress had entered the poll fray in an electoral pat with the Samajwadi Party. The party, however, won just 7 seats.

READ MORE: Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Priyanka Gandhi, other Congress leaders observe 'maun vrat' in Lucknow

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