Lawyer-activist is AAP’s candidate from Brahmapuri
Paromita Goswami, a lawyer and tribal rights activist from Chandrapur, is now stepping into the election fray, as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from the Brahmapuri constituency. A strong voice in support of prohibition, Ms. Goswami and her organisation, Shramik Elgar, had mobilised women from villages across Chandrapur district to demand a liquor ban. In 2015, Chandrapur became the third liquor-free district in the State, after Wardha and Gadchiroli. Today, women from the area, and organisations and activists from across the State reach out to her to discuss the issue. “Women are reaching out to us saying that the government has allowed liquor shops to open at 8 a.m.. Can you imagine what kind of impact it must have on the women and everyone else?” Ms. Goswami asks.An alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, Ms. Goswami has been at the helm of Shramik Elgar for two decades. “We are not simply into tribal rights. We have been working on a lot of issues related to caste, tribes and gender,” she said.On what prompted her to jump into the electoral fray, she said, “After 20 years, we realised that many of our issues were not getting resolved. The initial plan was to contest independently, but gradually AAP came into the picture.”The drought-stricken Vidarbha has been reeling under farmers’ suicides, water scarcity and lack of health facilities. Ms. Goswami plans to focus on all the issues related to women in the tribal and rural belts as well as problems related to farmers and labourers.Ms. Goswami will contest against Congressman and Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar in his stronghold. AAP’s national executive member Preeti Sharma Menon said, “Mr. Wadettiwar is a compromised opposition member. Paromitaji has worked hard for the people in the area. We hope that her work will help in dismissing Mr. Wadettiwar and get votes for her. The Congress has failed as an Opposition. They have not raised any rural or urban issue of the State. AAP is stepping in to give a voice to the people of Maharashtra,” she said.