Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress’ general secretary, stated on Tuesday that women would make up 40% of the party’s candidates in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. She said that the decision to give women 40% of the party ticket was made to ensure that they have stronger representation in state politics. She also stated that election ballots would be distributed based on candidates’ merit and work.
In Uttar Pradesh, where caste politics play a large role, support for Congress has dropped significantly. Now, with this move of reservation for women the party is attempting to rule India’s most populous state again. Electoral politics in Uttar Pradesh which is notable for being divided among caste and religions, Congress now looks to be breaking with precedent by emphasizing gender equality. Women from all castes and religions are being urged to unite together.
Why Congress is focusing on ticket reservations for women?
The answer to this question is that according to figures from the 2019 general election, women made up 6.61 crores, or 46 percent, of the registered voter population in Uttar Pradesh. Recent UP polls have seen an increase in the number of women participating. For example, during the 2012 elections, when Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party was elected, a higher percentage of registered women voters cast ballots than men. Surprisingly, the tendency continued in the 2017 surveys. Hence, Congress’s announcement of reservation for women is to secure women’s votes in the upcoming UP election.
Is seat reservation for women a “Political Drama”?
BSP’s leader Mayawati described the Congress’ announcement to allocate 40% ticket to women in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections as “pure election drama”. She claimed that the party only remembers women, Dalits, and backward when it is out of power. She also stated that Congress lacked the willpower to make concentrated efforts for women’s rights.
She asserted that when congress was in power, it could have enacted legislation providing for a 33% female representation in Parliament and legislative assemblies, but they failed to do so. BSP Chief has also targeted Congress by saying that the party has the character to say one thing and do another.
The 403-member UP Assembly elections will be held in early 2022. Congress is making all their efforts to leave no stone unturned. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been working in Uttar Pradesh for the past three years, after the party’s defeats in both the 2017 Assembly elections and the 2019 general elections. However, she was evasive when asked if she would contest in the election or not.