New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra released the party’s first list of 125 candidates for Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022 and kept her promise of giving 40 per cent representation to women. Out of the 125 candidates, 50 are women with Priyanka also stressing that 40 per cent of those in the first are youngsters.
While some of the women candidates have been in active politics for the last few years, a few are greenhorns. One such political novice is Asha Singh, the mother of the 2017 Unnao rape survivor.
Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was in 2019 sentenced to life imprisonment in following his convicting in the rape of the teenaged girl in 2017.
Asha Singh thanked the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and tweeted, “I am grateful to the Congress Party for supporting me in my struggle and in my fight. Thanks to Congress General Secretary Smt @priyankagandhi ji for declaring me as Congress candidate from Unnao Sadar.”
Here’s a look at some of the Congress candidates named in the Uttar Pradesh first list:
Asha Singh is the mother of the 2017 Unnao rape survivor. She has one son, aged 7, and four daughters, aged 25,19, 15, and 13. She is not literate and has been primarily dependent on agriculture after her husband’s death. The family lives mostly in Delhi due to the court cases. However, they are in touch with Unnao and visit their native place from time to time.
Priyanka, while announcing her name, mentioned that Asha Singh wanted to contest the election and the party chose to give her a chance so that she could continue her fight.
Congress leader Pankhuri Pathak will try her luck from Noida. Active in politics since her college days, she started her journey with the Samajwadi Party in 2010. She was a SP member till February 2021 when she quit the party and joined Congress.
She completed her BA (History) from Hansraj College, Delhi University. She comes from a family of doctors – her father Dr JC Pathak is a physician and her mother Dr Aarti Pathak is gynecologist.
The 29-year-old Pankhuri is one of the most active Congress leaders on social media.
She is the candidate from Shahjahanpur. She is an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker, who also led an agitation for a raise in honorarium. She was manhandled when she demanded her dues at a public meeting of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Sahajahanpur.
In December 2019, actor-activist Sadaf Jafar was “kicked in the stomach by a male cop”, after being arrested during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Lucknow. She will contest from Lucknow (Central).
Sadaf Jafar was arrested at Lucknow’s Parivartan Chowk while hosting a Facebook Live session during an anti-CAA protest. Jafar, who is out on bail following her arrest on charges of rioting and attempted murder, said that she would fight to raise and address issues that matter to the people of Uttar Pradesh.
Louise Khurshid comes from a political family and is the wife of Congress leader Salman Khurshid. Her father was a bureaucrat, and she has a journalism degree from the United States. She is the Congress candidate from Farrukhabad, a constituency which sent her husband to the Lok Sabha in the 1991 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Aradhana Misra Alias Mona
Aradhana Misra was born on April 20, 1974 and is currently a Congress MLA in the 17th Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh. She represents Rampur Khas of Pratapgarh district. She is the daughter of senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari.