Sheila Dikshit Congress Choice for UP Top Job? Buzz As She Meets Gandhis

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Sheila Dikshit Congress Choice for UP Top Job? Buzz As She Meets Gandhis

Sheila Dikshit may be Congress' chief ministerial candidate for UP elections, say sources.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Move after strategist Prashant Kishor suggested a Brahmin face for CM
  2. He earlier suggested Rahul or Priyanka as CM candidate but was rejected
  3. Congress sources say Priyanka Gandhi may lead party campaign in UP
Sheila Dikshit, former Delhi chief minister, today met Congress president Sonia Gandhi amid buzz that she could be fielded by the party as its chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, where elections will be held early next year.

"Nothing to report," Ms Dikshit said after the meeting. Sources said Sonia Gandhi offered her two options - the UP job or heading the party's Punjab campaign after senior leader Kamal Nath quit that assignment on Wednesday.

Ms Dikshit, 78, sources say, has asked for some time to make up her mind.

Top Congress sources have told NDTV that the party leadership feels Ms Dikshit's record of development in Delhi as a three-term chief minister and her old family ties to UP - her father in law Uma Shankar Dikshit was a prominent Congressman from there - makes her a good candidate to be the party's face in the state, with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sonia Gandhi's daughter, leading the campaign.

For long downgraded to number four in UP behind the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the BJP, the Congress has launched an energetic bid to stage a comeback in the assembly elections.

To script its campaign it has engaged election strategist Prashant Kishor, who has suggested that the party field a Brahmin candidate for chief minister. Sheila Dikshit also fits that bill.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, in charge of the Congress' UP campaign today said the party is yet to decide on who it will field for Chief Minister. "It will happen but there is still some time," he said.

As Ms Dikshit met the Gandhis, Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung forwarded for investigation, a complaint of corruption against the former chief minister in a 400-crore water tanker deal. The complaint has been made by Sheila Dikshit's successor Arvind Kejriwal.

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