Priyanka releases special manifesto for women in U.P.

Reserve 40% of 20 lakh new jobs and 25% of all jobs in the police force for women; provide a scooter to every girl enrolled in a graduate programme and a smartphone to every girl in the 10+2 Classes; provide three free gas cylinders to every woman per year; and bring a law to punish police personnel who do not register complaints of crimes against women within 10 days of the reporting of the incident — with this ambitious list of promises, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday released a special manifesto for women ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

Taking forward her announcement of fielding 40% women candidates in the State election, the manifesto includes a number of welfare, financial and security measures for women, whom the party is trying to woo in a State where caste, community and regional affinities have mattered most and continue to do so, if the campaigns of the main contenders, the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are considered.

Ms. Vadra lamented that, so far, talks of women’s empowerment had been restricted to “publicity”, were only on paper or emerged during elections. All parties know that if all women recognise their “shakti” (power) and transform it into “political shakti,” then this country can be changed, she said.

“Then this casteist and communal politics can be brought to an end. I appeal to all women that this is a big opportunity to recognise your shakti, use it and bring politics of development in the country, especially in U.P.,” Ms. Vadra said here at a press conference.

Ms. Vadra said that women are now in the mood to fight against oppression and stressed that there should not be any glorification of the “tolerance of oppression”. By reserving 40% seats for women candidates, she said her party was trying to “correct the imbalance in politics”. Only 14% of women are elected representatives both at the Centre and State-level, she said.

Ms. Vadra said that while the official announcement would happen soon, so far, out of the 100 candidates screened and selected by the party, 60 were women and 40 were men.

The Congress manifesto also promised adequate incentives, including tax exemptions to businesses increasing their female employee numbers to 50%; an honorarium of ₹10,000 per month for anganwadi workers, and ASHA workers across the State; and reservation of 40% of Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work for women.

Besides this, if the Congress came to power, it would constitute a special empowered commission to look into the harassment, persecution and vilification of women in cases of rape or molestation, the manifesto said. Use of all public transportation would be free for women in order to enable access to schools, universities and workplaces, it also said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 4:24:41 PM |

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