Within 24 hours of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra claiming to have made history by starting a new politics by giving 40 per cent representation to woman in her party tickets in Uttar Pradesh, the poster girl of the party’s women’s manifesto ‘Shakti Vidhan’, Dr Priyanka Maurya, took up the fight against the Congress general secretary after being denied ticket by the party.
Maurya, the state vice-president of Mahila Congress (Central Zone), Uttar Pradesh since 2019 and the face of the party’s women’s manifesto ‘Shakti Vidhan’, made some stunning allegations against the grand old party. Speaking to media persons here on Friday, the Uttar Pradesh state convener called Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s election campaign ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ a sham.
She said it was a “lollipop” that was given to her by her party which, she said, in reality was anti-women and anti-Other Backward Classes. She also took to twitter to register her anger.
Dr Maurya revealed how women were ill-treated and misbehaved during the marathon organised by the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh as part of its ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ (I am a woman, I can fight) election campaign. She alleged that the party created a lot of fuss while distributing two-wheelers as promised in the manifesto.
The Congress had promised its women members that only those who got the maximum number of women to participate in the marathon would stand a chance to get an election ticket, but all that was a mere pretence, alleged Priyanka Maurya.
She added that the ticket distribution was all pre-planned and the party was actually averse to its women candidates. “We were asked to work hard for the party and we did. However, the party came out as anti-women and anti-OBC when it came to ticket distribution.”
Dr Maurya further said that 24 candidates applied for the Sarojini Nagar seat in Lucknow district. One of the aspirants, Rudra Daman Singh, applied for the election ticket after the date of submission of the application was over. The party brought him with an intention to give him the ticket for the constituency. It was all pre-planned, but we kept working hard on the assurance of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who coined the slogan ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’, she said.
Dr Maurya further alleged that she was asked for a bribe for the ticket. She alleged that this bribe was sought by none other than Priyanka Gandhi's secretary Sandeep Singh.
She made many other allegations against the party. She claimed that due to malpractice, her ticket from Sarojininagar assembly seat in Lucknow was cut and given to Rudra Daman Singh. She alleged that Sandeep Singh got her ticket cut.
Hours after the list was released, Dr Maurya tweeted from her twitter handle about the bargaining of tickets in the Congress party. She has alleged that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's secretary Sandeep Singh had made her call someone for money. On not giving the money, someone else's name was announced in her place. She said that she had evidence of every allegation which would soon be made public.
Dr Maurya claimed that now the party, through its leaders, was trying to pacify her by assuring a ticket from some other constituency but she made it clear that she was a doctor by profession and had worked a lot in the constituency so she would shift to some other place.
Dr Maurya asked why the Congress went through the drama of screening candidates if it was pre-decided that Rudra Daman Singh would be given the ticket. “We were told a committee of 37 members would be tasked with the screening process. Observers will be called to evaluate the candidates. The survey was done and my name appeared at the top of the list. Then why the discrimination,” she asked.
When questioned on being the cover face of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's women's manifesto for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls titled ‘Shakti Vidhan’, the miffed state vice-president of Mahila Congress, Dr Priyanka Maurya, called it a “lollipop” given to her by the Congress party. “The party has used my face to attract women and OBC voters, but when it came to ticket distribution they chose a non-OBC candidate over me,” she said.
Meanwhile, one more senior officer-bearer of Mahila Congress, Sheila Mishra, who also was denied ticket, staged a dharna inside the UP Congress Committee office on Friday. She also claimed that those who gave their lives for the party were ignored by the high command and outside leaders were roped in to give them tickets.