UP elections: Denied ticket, Gulabi Gang founder quits Congress
Sampat Pal Devi, founder of Uttar Pradesh-based women’s organisation Gulabi Gang, on Friday quit the Congress after she was denied a ticket for the upcoming assembly elections.
On Thursday, the party released its first list of candidates comprising 125 names, including 50 women, for the assembly polls. The party had promised to give 40% of its tickets to women. The mother of the Unnao rape victim and a block official who was assaulted during panchayat elections in Lakhimpur Kheri were among the many names on the list.
Upset over not being given a ticket, Devi told HT over phone: “I am resigning from all posts of Congress as my candidature for Manikpur seat in Banda has not been considered. Women who secured lesser votes than me have been fielded from the same seat though I have worked harder over the years to strengthen the Congress. My Gulabi Gang members have supported the Congress not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in other states.”
The gang is known for seeking justice against those accused of “committing atrocities against women”.
Besides Devi, several other leaders also questioned the ticket distribution to women.
Party leader Priyanka Maurya, whose picture has been used on the Congress’ ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ (I am a girl, I can fight) campaign posters, accused a party functionary of asking her to pay money for a ticket and even called the Congress “anti-women and anti-OBC.”
Another party leader, Sheela Mishra, staged a dharna at the party headquarters after she was denied a ticket from an assembly seat in Lucknow.
State party chief Ajay Kumar ‘Lallu’ was not reachable for comments.