Sheila Dikshit today has been named as CM face for congress in Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are due next year. Not new to UP politics, Ms Dikshit is the daughter in law of Brahmin Union Minister and Congress Leader of UP Uma Shankar Dikshit.
This is 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.
The announcement was made by Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi at the party headquarters in the national capital.
Referring to media speculation, Dikshit said “For the first time your assumption has proved right.”
Previously Ms Dikshit led the Congress to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi. In December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Dikshit was defeated in New Delhi constituency by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who briefly replaced her as Delhi’s chief minister. Subsequently she was sworn in as Governor of Kerala on 11 March 2014. However, she resigned on 25 August 2014.
The Congress party has largely desisted from naming its chief ministerial candidate in poll-bound states in the past. But it made an exception in Uttar Pradesh by naming former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit as its CM face. She is said to be selected for her experience and good work in the past.
Reacting to her appointment as UP CM face, Dikshit said it’s a big responsibility.