Sheila Dikshit checks all boxes as Cong face for UP elections
Sheila Dikshit checks all boxes as Cong face for UP elections

Sheila Dikshit, the former Delhi chief minister, will be Congress's chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh where Assembly elections are due early next year.

The Congress, however, yet to decide what role Priyanka Vadra will play in the crucial state polls in 2017.

"You have been speculating for a long time and for the first time your assumption has proved right,” Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwiwedi said while announcing Dikshit’s name. Notably, Dwivedi too happens to be a Brahmin.

"Sheila Dikshit has been selected for her experience and good work," senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi told media person.

Prashant Kishor, accorded considerable credit for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's smash victory in 2014, is now working with the Congress. Sources on his team of strategists said he wanted a Brahmin face - a box Ms Dikshit checks through her marriage - for Chief Minister in the hope of winning back the Congress' traditional upper case supporters. Mr Kishor also reportedly believes that Ms Dikshit's experience as the three-time head of the Delhi government will be easy to sell to neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, which remains under-developed and besieged by misgovernance.

"It's a huge responsibility and I want to thank Congress high command. I hope I live up to the expectation of the party. I am not a stranger to Uttar Pradesh. I have had a lot of political involvement in the state," Dikshit said reacting to the announcement. 

"I am a bahu of Uttar Pradesh and there's no retirement age in politics," Dikhsit, 78, had told journalists earlier.

Announcement of Dikshit's nomination came on a day the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi sent a notice to her asking her to join the investigation in connection with the alleged Rs 400-crore water tanker scam. Dikshit called the allegation "politically motivated". 

When asked if she would like Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign for the party, she said, "I would like her to campaign whenever she wishes to.”

Congress currently has 23 members in 404-member UP assembly. 

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