Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh Sheila Dikshit today played the emotional angle as she rubbished criticism that she was an outsider and stated that she got married in the state and also began her political journey there.
“How come I am an outsider? I started my political journey from there, I got married there. My husband was an IAS officer serving in Uttar Pradesh,” she said.
Responding to a poser about the Congress’ strategy for the Uttar Pradesh elections, Dikshit said her party’s aim is to take everyone together and not to isolate any community or religion. “We don’t believe in caste politics, we will work for everyone,” Dikshit told ANI here.
“Our strategy is to gather all people. We don’t want to isolate any particular community or religion,” she added. Dikshit, who was formally declared the Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh earlier on Thursday, had earlier said that it was a big responsibility and thanked the party high command for trusting her for the job.
The announcement was made by Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi at the party headquarters in New Delhi. 78-year-old Dikshit’s choice for the top post comes amid speculations that Prashant Kishore, who has been roped in as the party’s poll strategist for Uttar Pradesh, is of the view that a Brahmin face represents the Congress in the politically crucial state.
Dikshit is the daughter-in-law of prominent Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh Uma Shankar Dikshit, who was a Brahmin face and had served as a union minister and governor for a long time.
This move can be seen as an attempt on the Congress Party’s part to win back its traditional upper caste voters. The community, a traditional vote bank of the Congress, later shifted allegiance to the BJP.
A large chunk of Brahmin votes had also gone to the BSP in the past when party supremo Mayawati gave tickets to many candidates belonging to the community.
Dikshit, who served thrice as the Delhi Chief Minister before AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal dismissed her with a record mandate in December 2013, had earlier said that she was ready for any role which the party assigns to her.