Priyanka Gandhi promises smartphones for 12th pass girls if Congress wins UP elections
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi promised smartphones for Class 12 female passouts and electric scooties for women graduates if her party was voted to power in the UP elections next year.
After promising to reserve 40% of seats for women candidates, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday announced smartphones for Class 12 female passouts and electric scooties for women graduates if her party was voted to power in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections slated for early next year.
“Yesterday I met some girl students. They said they needed smartphones for their studies and their security. I am happy that today the UP Congress has decided, with the consent of the manifesto committee, that it will provide smartphones to inter pass girls and electronic scooties to graduate girls on forming its government,” the Congress leader tweeted in Hindi.
Priyanka Gandhi, who is the party’s UP in charge, also attached with her tweet a video of a group of college girls interacting with a journalist. In the video, one of the girls said Priyanka Gandhi asked if they had a phone for clicking selfies.
“We said we neither have phones nor are they allowed in colleges. She then asked us if she should get it announced that girls should get phones and we said what more can we ask for our safety,” the student said in the video.
“She asked us to study hard. I want her to continue to meet and talk to us like this,” another student is seen saying in the video.
The girls said Priyanka Gandhi also told them about the Congress slogan “Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon”.
“Please make sure to take these announcements to the people and post them on social media platforms,” UPCC organisation secretary Anil Yadav said in a communication to party workers.
A Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, said: “These announcements will be part of the Congress’s poll manifesto to be released later.”
On Tuesday, Priyanka Gandhi had announced that 40% of candidates fielded by the party for the assembly elections next year would be women.
A close scrutiny of data by the Election Commission of India suggests that as on January 1, 2021, Uttar Pradesh has 145.85 million voters, of which 67.05 million are women.
On Congress’ latest announcement, state BJP vice-president and MLC Vijay Pathak said: “Congress is making all such announcements in view of the 2022 assembly elections. Everybody knows how the Congress did not keep its promise of loan waiver in Madhya Pradesh. People are also aware of what the Congress has done for women in states where the party is in power.”
“Announcing freebies in elections has become a norm for political parties in recent years. It’s better to promise something to young girls in the education sector than making announcements on caste or community lines that are not healthy. As far as the issue of giving 40 per cent Congress tickets to the women is concerned, this may not cut much ice unless the party addresses other serious issues like rising unemployment,” Professor Roop Rekha Verma, former vice chancellor of Lucknow University, said.