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UP Elections 2022 – Women victims of rape and harassment under Yogi rule may get Congress tickets

The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections dates have been announced, and Congress Party has prepared a master plan for ticket distribution. Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s slogan ‘Ladki hoon lad Sakti hoon’ will be the highest priority in ticket distribution.

As per sources, Congress has prepared a list of women victims of humiliation, rape and harassment during the double engine Narendra Modi – Yogi Adityanath regime. The party is considering poll tickets for these women or their close relatives. These include Unnao and Hathras rape victims.

Priyanka is on record saying, “There are women in our list who want to stand up for themselves, who want to fight those who have been persecuted. We are saying that if any MLA has tortured you, then we will give you a ticket to contest the election. Be a legislator. Take power in your hands and fight.” She referred to the Unnao gang rape victim who had accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar of gang rape and kidnapping.

There are key faces in the list which are considered the most preferred. There are other cases too, and a list is being made. As per the sources, efforts are being made to meet the victims’ families to persuade them to contest the elections. After that, the decision to issue tickets will be made.

Unnao Gangrape Victim

Asha Singh, the mother of the victim of the Unnao rape case, is among the top preferred candidate. It is said that she has been persuaded to contest the elections. In 2017, a matter of kidnapping and rape was lodged by a minor girl against BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar from Unnao’s Bangarmau seat. The victim said that she had gone to the MLA’s house to ask for a job when gang raped.

Rapist BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar Unnao Gangrape
Rapist BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar is an RSS member as per social media tweets. Image: Twitter

The girl was found when the family had lodged a missing report. Sengar was sentenced to life imprisonment in this case. After this, Sengar was also accused of causing an accident in the car of the victim girl and her relatives. Two people had died in this accident. The victim also died later. After this, Sengar’s legislature was abolished after a lot of uproar and criticism of the Yogi government.

Hathras Gangrape Victim

Congress is preparing to give the ticket to a woman from the family of this Dalit girl. Congress is deciding on the candidate among the victim’s mother or sister-in-law. A case of gang rape with a Dalit girl came to light in Hathras on September 14 2020. The accused belonged to the upper caste Thakur community. The matter became better known when the girl died on September 29 at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. Yogi controlled state police had cremated the girl in the wee hours of the morning without informing the family.

The opposition alleged that as the culprit is from Yogi Adityanath’s Thakur caste, efforts are being made to suppress the matter during the rule of Yogi Adityanath’s government. In this case, on October 11, 2020, the CBI registered an FIR, and on December 18, 2020, the charge sheet was filed.

Shahjahanpur Asha Worker

The case of Poonam Pandey, who worked as an Asha worker in the district, came into the limelight when she was trying to go to the meeting of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to be held in her district along with her colleagues demanding honorarium. The police tried to stop them. Poonam was intent on meeting CM Yogi Adityanath and narrating her grievance. The police beat her up mercilessly. This video went viral on social media. Priyanka Vadra Gandhi immediately tweeted this video and demanded justice for the Asha workers. This case is of November 2021.

Former SP leader Ritu Singh

The saree of SP candidate Ritu Singh was pulled during the nomination for the post of block chief in the Pasgwan block of Lakhimpur Kheri. Ritu has joined the Congress, and the party has now made preparations to give her a ticket to the Legislative Assembly. The video of this incident had gone viral on social media. In this case, CM Yogi had suspended six policemen, including the CO, SO of the police station of the block.

Priyanka Gandhi with former SP leader Ritu  who is a victim in Yogi rule
Priyanka Gandhi with former SP leader Ritu Singh

In this case, the accused youth, who was arrested by the police, had created a ruckus as soon as the matter of his connection with the BJP came to the fore. The youth is a relative of BJP MP Rekha Verma. Rekha Verma is a BJP MP from Dhaurahara seat of UP.

Forty per cent of tickets to women candidates

Congress party has promised to give 40 per cent tickets to women during the UP assembly elections in 2022. It was made known by Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as she released the women’s manifesto in Rae Bareli in December 2021.

During the release of the women’s manifesto titled ‘Shakti Vidhan’, Priyanka Gandhi made announcements related to women’s self-respect, self-reliance, education, respect, security, and health.

Priyanka Gandhi during a rally in Uttar Pradesh
Priyanka Gandhi during a rally in Uttar Pradesh

Gandhi said that Congress has promised 20 lakh jobs after the formation of the government, out of which eight lakh jobs will be given to women. Loans will be provided to women self-help groups at low interest rates. Institutions that employ 50 per cent of women will be given tax exemption. Along with this, 40 per cent of Congress tickets and 40 per cent of jobs will also be given to women under the provisions of reservation in employment.

The move rattled the double engine government, and PM Modi transferred an amount of Rs 1,000 crore to the bank accounts of 16 lakh women members of Women Self Help Groups. The event was criticised by the participating women unhappy with their treatment during the event. Some women complained that they were not provided with even water after being invited and brought by crowded busses.

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