Alleging that in the past 11 months, there have been 90 cases of rapes in Unnao district alone, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, targeted the state government on Friday, asserting that now women should “snatch power from men” for their safety.
“Samaj mein mahilaon ko satta milni chahiye…main apni behno se kehti hun ki satta chheeniye purushon se… panchyayat ke chunao ladiye, vidhan sabha ke chunao ladiye, rajniti mein aaiye…taaki is tarike ke haadse hon to apne aap ko bhi protect kar payein (I would say that women should get the power to rule in the society… I ask my sisters to snatch power from men… contest Panchayat elections, vidhan sabha polls, join politics… so that you can protect yourselves when such incidents happen),” said Priyanka who was in Lucknow on Friday for a two-day visit.
Priyanka asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to own to the responsibility for the crimes against the women and demanded explanation on actions taken so far.
“It is the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order. In Unnao alone, 90 incidents of rape have happened in the past 11 months. In the previous incident, the government protected the culprits till the entire family of the victim was destroyed. How difficult it must have been for the woman,” asked Priyanka. “After Unnao, there were incidents in Mainpuri, Sambhal and again in Unnao… How can women trust the government. What is the Chief Minister doing, what is he saying, what action is he taking,” she asked, adding that Uttar Pradesh is number one in the country in terms of crimes against women. “It should be taken as an emergency situation” she said.
Priyanka advised that the Chief Minister should form a special cell in his office, with which all the Superintendents of Police are connected, so that the CMO is informed about the complaints made by the women and FIRs are lodged within 24 hours.
She maintained that the Congress will stand with the women and fight for them.
About the Hyderabad killings, Priyanka only said that she feels that it is the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order. She did not respond further, maintaining that she does not know the details of the incident.
After reaching Lucknow on Friday, Priyanka went to the house of party leader Sheila Kaul, where she is likely to stay.
She held daylong organisational meetings with the party’s strategy group and different frontal organisations at UP Congress Committee headquarters, where she also offered flowers to the picture of B R Ambedkar on his death anniversary.
During the meetings, leaders said, it was decided that the Congress would raise the issue of the security of women across the state.
Sources said that during meetings with the strategy group, youth Congress, NSUI, minority welfare cell and others, Priyanka focused largely on building the organisation in every district and at grassroots level in next few months before moving ahead.
“We have been asked to ensure that each and every unit till the grassroots level is up and functioning actively. Non-performers will be replaced and vacant posts filled. The focus of the meeting was largely on building the organisation, along with holding agitations to raise the issues of women, farmers and employment,” said a senior party leader.