New Delhi : Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit today thanked the Congress High Command for selecting her as the chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and expressed hope that the grand old party would emerge victorious in the politically crucial state.
“I thank the high command for imposing their trust on me and assigning me this big responsibility. I hope the Congress performs better in Uttar Pradesh this time,” she told the media here soon after the announcement.
Dikshit vowed to contest the Uttar Pradesh polls unitedly to give a tough challenge to the ruling Samajwadi Party, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.
Dikshit, 78, however, said the Uttar Pradesh polls will definitely be a challenge for the Congress.
“Every election is a challenge. There is definitely a challenge in Uttar Pradesh. But we are going with a vision to win,” she said.
Dikshit further said that she would love to see Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka campaign in the state.
“I would like her to campaign whenever she wishes to,” she said.
Responding to a poser on her good track record in Delhi, she said that she would make all efforts to repeat the performance of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh.
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. (ANI)