Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 05:43 AM IST

UP CM candidate Sheila reflects 'distressed, weak' Congress': SP

Updated: Jul 14, 2016 18:31 IST

New Delhi, July 14 (ANI): Hours after the Congress announced Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party on Thursday said that the former chief minister, who has been rejected by New Delhi, is not an apt choice for a politically crucial and most populous state of the country.

Speaking to ANI, Samajwadi Party leader Gaurav Bhatia said, "It is now clear that Congress, which lacks ideology, is going in to the Uttar Pradesh elections as a distressed and weak party."

He further said the grand old party, which was set up Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, is now finding its future in people like Imran Masood, who has been appointed as one of the vice-presidents of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.

"Sheila Dikshit is that candidate who lost her assembly seat in the Delhi assembly polls. She is the same Sheila Dikshit, under the reign of which CWG and various scams took place. I don't think that Sheila Dikshit, who has been rejected by New Delhi, is an apt choice as the chief ministerial candidate of such a big an important state like Uttar Pradesh," he added.

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.

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, who is 78 years of age, however, said the Uttar Pradesh polls will definitely be a challenge for the Congress.

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 should represent 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 by 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 defeated her with a record mandate in December 2013, had stated after her defeat that she was ready for any role which the party assigns to her. (ANI)