Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's announcement to reserve 40 percent of party tickets in the coming Uttar Pradesh (UP) elections for women, has drawn sharp criticism from other parties.
"Women can bring about change and they need to step forward," Vadra said on Tuesday, 19 October.
"This decision is for the girls of Uttar Pradesh… This decision is for women who want change," she added.
'Election Drama": BSP Supremo Mayawati
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati dismissed it as “election drama”.
"When the Congress is in power and enjoys ache din (good days), it does not remember Dalits, OBC and women but when its bure din (bad days) refuse to go away, it remembers women in U.P. just like it is wooing Dalits in Punjab," she said.
"If the Congress’s concern for women was so honest, then why did its government at the Centre not bring in a law to provide 33% reservation in Parliament and State Assemblies?" she asked.
While the move could be seen as a step to woo women voters, there is a lot of apprehension on how the party will deal with representations as caste dynamics play a vital role during elections. Vadra had clarified that tickets would be distributed to the women on “merit”.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi slammed Vadra saying this move would not help people connect with her as the Congress has provided representation based on dynasty politics.
He took a jibe at two Congress leaders, Supriya Shrinate and Aradhana Misra, who had accompanied Vadra during the press conference, stating even they are daughters of senior leaders, reiterating his stand on dynasty politics.
Meanwhile, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Choudhary hailed the move as revolutionary.
"This is a revolutionary move. Our president Sonia Gandhi has always emphasized on such issues... Had UPA formed govt, 33% reservation for women (in Parliament) would have been implemented," he said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday came out in support of Vadra.
"The decision announced by Shrimati Priyanka Gandhi to give 40 per cent tickets in Uttar Pradesh to women is worth welcoming. Congress party gave the country women President and Prime Minister, but BJP till today has not been able to even make a woman the party President," he said.
Gehlot slammed BJP for having an “anti-women ideology" and stated this as the reason for women to feel unsafe in Uttar Pradesh.
"Woman empowerment is the most important agenda of Congress party. Congress President Shrimati Sonia Gandhi has been making effort towards 33 per cent reservation for women in the Parliament. The anti-women ideology of the BJP is the reason due to which women are unsafe today in Uttar Pradesh but by empowering women the Congress will bring an end to this bad governance by the BJP," he said.
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