UP Women Marathon On Priyanka Gandhi’s Call, With Disapproval Of District Authorities Amid Omicron

Lucknow: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s women-centred “Ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon (I’m a girl and can fight)” campaign in Uttar Pradesh saw a major boost as thousands of women defied district administration to participate in a marathon organised by the party this morning. The marathon took place despite of disapproval of the district authorities.

Videos shared by the Congress on Twitter and other social media platforms showed large gatherings in Lucknow and Jhansi despite the district authorities denying permission for the marathon citing the rising cases of Omicron strain.

In Jhansi, the girls refused to return and the police did not allow them to move ahead.

“The state government did not have a problem when lakhs of students flouted Covid protocols during a government programme where laptops were distributed, then why now,” a woman is heard saying in a video posted by Congress on Twitter.

The Congress has announced a scooty for the first three winners in both the marathons, and those coming fourth to 25th would be presented a smartphone. The next 100 were to be given fitness bands, while the next 1,000 women were to get medals, the party said.

The party had not charged entry fees for the participants.

In Uttar Pradesh, the campaign this year has seen growing prominence for women-centric efforts as the assembly elections approach.

The Congress, which has been reduced to a virtual non-player in the past few elections in the state, has been focusing on gender equality in the state where multiple crimes against women have been reported in the last few years. Some of these cases — including the gangrape of a Dalit woman in Hathras, and the case in Unnao — made headlines and provoked outrage across the country.

The BJP has also launched a number of schemes for women in the politically crucial state, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who has visited the state more than 10 times in two months – transferring over 1,000 crore into the bank accounts of over 16 lakh women.

The Samajwadi Party has also tried to highlight its initiatives for women during the regimes of both Akhilesh Yadav and his father and party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. “Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) got toilets built for women and he was also the first to give gas cylinders to them, but never got his photographs clicked. However, the current government gets its pictures clicked. The SP has worked (for the people), hence, you should help in the formation of an SP government,” said Aparna Yadav, who is the wife of Mulayam Singh’s younger son Prateek Yadav.

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