The Congress has fielded actor and former Miss Bikini India 2018, Archana Gautam, as its candidate from Meerut's Hastinapur which is considered to be the 'ancient holy' city, for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Archana, a beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss Bikini India 2018, Miss Uttar Pradesh 2014 and Miss Cosmo World 2018, had joined the Congress party in November 2021.
Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had announced that the party will give 40 per cent women candidates in the upcoming Assembly elections. The Congress has given tickets to women belonging to different sections of society, including Archana.
On Thursday, the party rolled out its first list of 125 candidates for the Assembly elections which are due to be held in seven phases from February 10 and the list includes 50 women candidates.Speaking to ANI on Friday, the actor-model said that if she wins the Hastinapur seat, then the main focus will be on development work. She also said that tourism will be encouraged.
"Hastinapur is a tourist place and there are lots of ancient temples but people are not able to come here because of the connectivity problem. After becoming an MLA, my first priority will be to build a bus stand and a railway station. If tourism gets a boost, more tourists will come and people will get employment, she added.
She further said that she will also work for the farmers.
"Every year because of the flood, crops are damaged so I will work for that. I will take this matter to the State Assembly. There is only one sugar mill here and because of this, farmers face a lot of problems. So to save their time, I will open more sugar mills," she added.
Further speaking on her viral Bikini-clad pictures, Gautam urged people not to merge her profession in the media industry with my political career.
"I represented India in Miss Bikini 2018. I was Miss Uttar Pradesh 2014 and Miss Cosmo World 2018. I request people not to merge my profession in the media industry with my political career," said Gautam.
In the first list of 125 candidates for UP polls, 50 candidates are women, including Asha Singh, mother of the Unnao rape victim. From Shahjahanpur, Congress has fielded Asha worker, Poonam Pandey who led agitation for a raise in honorarium.
Notably, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid's wife, Louise Khurshid, has also been given a ticket.
Elections for the 403 Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
Notably, Congress has been out of power in the state for more than 30 years.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won a landslide victory winning 312 Assembly seats. The party secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member Assembly. Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, BSP won 19 while Congress could manage to win only seven seats. (ANI)