Banking on women to win UP; But Congress faces a hurdle all of a sudden

Congress worker Priyanka Maurya’s allegation could embarrass the party leadership

With Priyanka Gandhi’s presence and the mega election campaign she had been leading, the Congress in Uttar Pradesh was holding aloft the idea of women empowerment in a big way. This was done to lure women voters to vote in big numbers when the state goes to the polling booths in different phases – on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.

The women empowerment campaign to prompt more women to choose Congress candidates was being seen as a proactive measure by Priyanka Gandhi. Party leaders have been hopeful that the move would definitely give some strength to the Congress campaign in the state. The `Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon` slogan was a shot in the arm for the party, as Priyanka smiled her way into women voters’ minds.

Women empowerment promise

However, it looks like the women-oriented has now backfired on the Congress. Priyanka Maurya, a long-time party worker who had been lending support to the party’s women empowerment campaign, has suddenly felt herself being left in the lurch.

Maurya was being touted as the poster girl in UP for the Congress’s `Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon` campaign. However, she feels ditched by the party that preached empowerment for women.

What is being discussed on media space is the manner in which Priyanka Maurya was denied a party ticket for the polls, even after she was so active in the campaign and was hoping to be chosen. As per what Maurya alleges, she was asked to pay a bribe if she was to be given a ticket to contest. She refused and was denied the ticket and the chance went to another person who had joined the party a month back.

Bribe sought for Congress party ticket

She has made this known to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi via the media space with the hope that she would understand what is actually happening on the ground in UP, inside the party.

Maurya’s face was prominently used in the `Ladki Hoon Lad Sakti Hoon` campaign, and she was very hopeful that party would field her for the elections.

The party’s women empowerment campaign has received a jolt, with Priyanka Maurya’s revelation. No one knows if Maurya is stating the facts. But if a bribe was sought in return for a party ticket, then the Congress will have a tougher battle to fight internally. It would also come to light that all the preaching was just sound and no substance.

It now rests on the Congress leadership to act upon Maurya’s charges levelled against the party. Will Priyanka, who speaks at public rallies about how women would lead the party’s victory efforts, take a stance on this and initiate action is not known. If she does, it would instil confidence in other women who stand by her in the state of Uttar Pradesh. If she doesn’t, it would only speak volumes on the hollow promises made to women in the state.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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