Congress candidate from Uttar Pradesh's Hastinapur, Archana Gautam, who is a winner of various beauty pageants including Miss Bikini India 2018, has given a befitting reply to the critics who questioned her credential as a politician.
Talking to IANS, Gautam, 26, said: "Those who are commenting on my candidature, I would like to tell them that, I have not committed a crime. I have represented India in various beauty contests. Nor have I hurt anyone's sentiments, so why comment like this on me?
"There are also BJP leaders who have been associated with the film industry. Two of them are Smriti Irani and Hema Malini. They have acted in films and have worn short clothes. They never represented India in any contest. But I contested against candidates from 30 countries and attained the first place."
After Archana's name was announced as a Congress candidate from Meerut's Hastinapur Assembly seat, her pictures in bikini started flooding on social media.
Archana is a model and has acted in films as well. Because of her career, she lives in Mumbai. She won the title of Miss UP in 2014 and Miss Bikini India in 2018. She has also represented India in Miss Cosmos. Apart from Bollywood films, she has also acted in a couple of south films.
She said: "I am going to start a new life with the people of Hastinapur. But some people are indulging in my character assassination, judging me by my clothes. In today's world, girls are equal with boys every step of the way. No one has the right to judge my character on the basis of my clothes.
"Everyone has seen my 'reel life' not 'real life'. People didn't see how much I struggled, I came from a poor family and achieved this position on my own."
Archana joined the Congress in November last year, and two months later she was made a candidate.
She said: "I was born in Nagla Harairu of Mawana, Meerut, so I am the daughter of Hastinapur. Just like a daughter serves the family, I will serve Hastinapur."
"There are so many ancient temples in Hastinapur, but they have not been developed as tourist places. This also affects the employment as there is no development in Hastinapur. Traffic problem in the city is huge, there is no railway station and no major bus stand," she told IANS while talking about her priorities if she wins.
"If I win from Hastinapur, I will first fix the traffic issue and will work to develop tourist places in the city. Flood situation every year is a big problem. The BJP government built a dam to prevent this, but the dam collapsed in the first rain. Roads are also of poor quality, no work has been done here," she said further.
The Congress has announced candidates for two out of seven seats in Meerut and both the declared candidates are women.