With the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh assembly elections fast approaching, the parties around are busy finalizing their list of candidates. While a party like BJP is flushing out the dead weight and only rewarding the hard workers, taking a lesson from its West Bengal debacle; Congress, on the other hand, has employed an entirely different strategy. The party is issuing tickets to known rioters and flirting with criminal drama creators as well as influencers.
Reportedly, the Indian National Congress on Thursday (December 13), released its first list of 125 candidates for the elections. However, a particular name stood out from the list. Turns out, Congress gave a ticket to anti-CAA riots accused Sadaf Jafar to fight from the high-profile Lucknow Central constituency.
After being awarded the ticket, Sadaf took to twitter to complete the flattering duties by serenading Priyanka Gandhi. She tweeted, “Struggle is an integral part of every woman’s life, but appreciating, encouraging and giving new responsibility for that struggle in Uttar Pradesh has been done by @priyankagandhi. I am deeply thankful that I have been declared the party’s candidate along with these brave women.”
संघर्ष हर महिला के जीवन का अभिन्न हिस्सा है, मगर उसके सराहना, प्रोत्साहित करना और नई जिम्मेदारी देने का काम उत्तर प्रदेश में @priyankagandhi जी ने किया है। मैं तहेदिल से शुक्रगुजार हुँ कि मुझे इन बहादुर महिलाओं के साथ पार्टी का प्रत्याशी घोषित किया गया है। pic.twitter.com/yUlho5pMSU
— Sadaf Jafar (@sadafjafar) January 13, 2022
The Lucknow Central candidate was arrested in December 2019, along with 150 others when the protests against the CAA in Lucknow turned violent. The Uttar Pradesh police, at the time, had charged her with serious offences under the Indian Penal Code, including inciting violence and damaging public property.
Shooting one’s own foot, literally
While Sadaf got the ticket through her rioting works, she still pales in front of the efforts made by another Congress worker. As reported by TFI, a desperate Congress Party worker Rita Yadav resorted to an action-packed, crime thriller style to achieve her goals of receiving an election ticket.
The woman came to the limelight when she showed black flags during PM Modi’s rally in Sultanpur on November 16 last year. Afterward, Yadav was shot in her leg by unidentified attackers last week.
Congress, as usual, found an opportunity to attack BJP and stated that it is the BJP’s gundaraj. However, the party was left red-faced when it was revealed that Yadav planned the attack to secure her ticket in the upcoming elections.
Dreaming of riding on the sympathy card, the woman’s attempt failed brutally when she, along with her two associates, was arrested on January 12 for a “scripted attack.”
While interacting with the media, the Circle Officer of Chanda Kotwali police station, Satish Chandra Shukla, said, “Rita Yadav herself confessed that her eagerness to get the ticket for the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh had made her stage the entire act of getting herself shot at. She herself lodged an FIR after which police started an investigation.”
Congress and its puzzling ticket allocation process
While action and drama formed the keyword for the aforementioned two Congress workers, the party high command has taken care of the glamour quotient by adding Tamil actress Archana Gautam into the election fray.
Reportedly, Archana will be contesting from the Hastinapur seat in Meerut district on a Congress ticket. She joined the party two months back and has been fast-tracked to fight the elections from one of the most prestigious seats.
It may be interesting to see how the local leaders of the region react to the snub given to them by the party high command. In pursuit of following Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s rather obnoxious ‘Ladki hu, lad sakti hu’ campaign, the real, ground workers are being ignored.
In the 2017 assembly elections, Congress contested 114 seats but only managed to win seven while losing deposits on the remaining. The alliance with Samajwadi Party proved to be a fatal decision. Thus, the party is foraying into the election pool, all alone, this time around. However, given the choice of candidates, it looks rather ominous that Congress will even cross the single digit mark.