Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

Uttarakhand Elections | From Modelling To Politics: Meet Congress' Anukriti Gusain

Anukriti Gosai says her focus is to change landscape of Lansdowne as Congress struggles to return to power in Uttarakhand.

Anukriti Gusain with her father in law Harak Singh Rawat
Anukriti Gusain with her father in law Harak Singh Rawat Facebook

From the world of modelling to politics, Anukriti Gusain, 28, Congress candidate from Lansdowne in Uttarakhand, has given the opposition party a new colour to its UP slogan—‘Ladki Hu Lad Shakti hun’. But will this help the Congress in Uttarakhand - a state which has been witnessing a change of power after every five years?

Daughter-in-law of veteran politician Harak Singh Rawat who recently joined the Congress after being expelled from the BJP, Gusain says her focus will be to change the landscape of this constituency which has multiple problems ranging from poor digital literacy to pathetic health infrastructure.

“So many women have died during their pregnancies. There is no facility for safe deliveries. The women have no voice. There is an everyday struggle for women to survive. I want to give them a voice and work on their empowerment, both economic and social” she told Outlook in the middle of her campaign.

On her father-in-law changing parties, she defends his action asserting “My father-in-law is a peoples’ man. He had been raising his voice against the BJP at party forums asking for corrections if the government has to return to power. They (BJP) never valued his stand and eventually, he chose to rebel for the people. I don’t agree that he was fighting for tickets to family members".

The former Femina Miss Grand India 2017 who rose to fame due to her national and international performance in pageantry claims that it’s wrong to say, “I have been preparing for entry in politics. It’s all sudden and also a surprise for me. I never had given a thought to this career as I was happy with my work through NGO to empower the community, women and underprivileged".

Being an IT professional and software developer, Anukriti wants to use her knowledge in improving digital literacy in the area. She claims to have empowered and trained 12,000 to 15,000 women in making traditional products and handicrafts using local raw materials and created markets for them. She recently also launched a brand –‘ Yellow hills’ to give national and international visibility to Uttarakhand.

After her modelling career and a stint as a TV presenter, Anukriti is now facing sitting BJP MLA Daleep Singh Rawat.

In all, there are 45 women candidates contesting the polls in Uttarakhand of which eight each are from the BJP and AAP while the Congress, which otherwise has promised 40 jobs to women, has given tickets to only five women.

Ritu Khanduri daughter of former BJP Chief Minister BC Khanduri is contesting from Kotdwar while Anupama Rawat, daughter of Harish Rawat, former Chief Minister and head of the party’s campaign committee has been fielded from Haridwar (rural).