With assembly polls scheduled for next year, Samajwadi Party (SP) has directed its women wing to reach out to at least one lakh women “sympathisers” from urban areas across the state.
These women may not necessarily be active workers of SP, but would be motivated to vote for the party. Till now, the SP’s women wing functioned in the shadow of the main unit. The move is aimed at shunning the party’s anti-women image, said sources. “The step has been taken to reach out to a large number of women, who are inclined towards SP but are not connected directly to the party. We will meet them personally and motivate them. They will act as our sympathisers,” said SP women wing state president Shweta Singh.
In urban areas, BJP is considered to have a stronger base among women. Sources said SP wants to breach the BJP’s fortress. “Our effort is to make inroads in the kitchen of at least one lakh households. Women constitute half of the total number of voters in the state. If one woman becomes our sympathiser, she will influence her family. She would act as a silent voter,” Singh said.
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“They can either join us as active members or be our sympathisers. We already have a strong presence in rural areas… This mission will bridge the gap in urban areas,” she added.
Urban households are being targeted so that SP, which is not very strong in the cities, gets a boost. “We will meet them in their homes. We will explain our government’s welfare programme for women, children and other family members. There are many schemes that directly affect women but have not been publicised,” said Singh.
For women, the party has also come up with schemes like Rs 300 pension for the poor, constitution of a state women empowerment mission, Asha Jyoti kendras in 11 districts and state nutrition mission, announcement of Rani Laxmibai bravery award and free distribution of sanitary napkins to adolescent girls among others.
The literature to be distributed would carry pictures of both Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his MP wife Dimple Yadav. While each district would bring in at least 1,000 women, for big cities, the target would be 2,000. Women wing volunteers in each district would prepare a database of such sympathisers.