Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit could be fielded as the chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, according to news channel NDTV.
Dikshit on Thursday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul in Delhi. Speculation is rife among party circles that the leadership is likely to propose her name for leading the Congress campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress had roped in poll strategist Prashant Kishor to guide the party in the crucial state assembly elections, scheduled for next year. Kishor previously proposed Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul’s name as the party’s CM face, but the idea was soon dropped.
Meanwhile, Dikshit could also be named as the party’s Punjab and Haryana in-charge after Kamal Nath tendered his resignation to party chief Sonia Gandhi, according to news channel India Today reported.
The Congress party is yet to make an announcement in this regard.
The party had come under strident attack for naming Kamal Nath, a politician long under a 1984 anti-Sikh riots cloud, as party in-charge of Punjab and Haryana.
Dikshit, born in Punjab, had last served as Governor of Kerala. During her political career, she has served as Delhi chief minister for three consecutive terms as well as a Member of Parliament in 1984.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal called Nath’s appointment as “the ultimate insult to Sikhs” and AAP’s HS Phoolka said the Congress was trying to “rub salt on the wounds” of the 1984 riot victims and their kin.
Nath, in his resignation letter, said he had been “blessed to have a long career with the party right from the Youth Congress to being general secretary to being a minister in the Congress governments since 1991 and never has there been any stigma attached to my name.”
“Certain elements are raking up these issues now only for political gains. I am touched by the support shown to me by our party workers and leaders in Punjab in repudiating the false accusations. I am a practitioner of Nehruvian politics and maligning of the Congress party using false accusations is unacceptable to me.”
“I wish the party focus on the upcoming assembly elections and highlight issues of misgovernance, misery of the farmers and youth, breakdown of law and order and rampant drug trade that caused untold misery to the people of Punjab. Given this, I request that I may be relieved of my charge to ensure that the attention is not diverted from the real issues facing Punjab,” he said.