Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The grand old party of the country is preparing to adopt a new strategy, keeping women, farmers, Scheduled Castes, minorities and young voters in mind in the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year.
Congress leaders are learnt to have started working on this strategy with a team of experts from socio-economic and political fields. “We are set to adopt a new strategy, setting examples for other parties to follow. The decision to reserve 40% of tickets for woman is not going to be an isolated example. A lot of surprises are in store, for youths, farmers and others, who are longing for a change in UP and other states,” a senior leader claimed.
As per official data, UP has around 6.61 crore female voters out of 14.40 crore eligible voters. In recent local body elections, 53.7% of successful candidates were women. Archana Kumari, a Delhi-based research scholar working on electoral consciousness among women aged between 25-45, said, “In states like UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Haryana, MP and West Bengal, electoral consciousness both in casting votes and participation in electoral process has increased by 15% to 22% in the last 15 years. Results of elections have started being influenced by the huge turnout of women voters in the country”.
RK Verma, another political researcher associated with Indian Institute of Public Administration, said the decision reflects that Congress has understood the emerging social and gender chemistry of voters, although a bit late. A reliable party source said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has played a big part in devising the new strategy. “A war room for fighting the UP elections has been set up in Lucknow where experts from various related political fields would be fine-tuning the new strategies,” he said.
It is expected that female voters in UP would once again outnumber their male counterparts — from 63.26% in 2017 to 65-67% in 2022. BJP had managed to get a major chunk, as around 46% of women voted for them. Hailing the decision of reserving 40% tickets reserve for women, senior Congress leader KC Venugopal called it historic. Pawan Khera, another leader, said, “This is what revolutions are made of. This announcement is unprecedented. It will prove to be a turning point in Indian politics”.
Echoing similar sentimentsd, Chhattisgarh chief minister and special observer of party for UP elections, Bhupesh Baghel termed the decision a historic one. “Now, the women of UP will not be afraid but will say it firmly,” he said.