'Capable' Sheila Dikshit not an outsider in UP: Congress

| Updated: Jul 14, 2016 21:47 IST

New Delhi, July 14 (ANI): Amid speculations that Sheila Dikshit may be named the chief ministerial candidate for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the Congress Party on Thursday ruled out assertions that the former Delhi chief minister is an outsider and said that her capacity to govern is very well-known Former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi told ANI these presumptions are there from a long time and conjectures are being made. "Mrs. Gandhi and Rahul ji have to take a call on this. And Sheila ji is a very capable leader, she has been here for 15 years and she has really changed the face of Delhi. And her capacity to govern is very well-known, her capacity as an organizational person is also very well-known," said Joshi. "She has been the president of Delhi state also, she was an MP from UP and I think she knows every district very well. She knows all the leaders, she knows the workers, her connect with UP is very strong," she added. Joshi further said in case the Congress high command decides to use her in the Uttar Pradesh elections or gives her some very big responsibility then it would add to the fortunes of the party in the politically crucial state and would be a welcome arrival. Joshi further said Dikshit is the daughter-in-law of Uma Shankar Dikshit, who was a prominent Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh. Dikshit is likely to be announced today as the Congress' chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. The announcement in this regard will be made by former union minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at a press briefing later in the day. 78-year-old 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. 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 had earlier last month met the Congress top brass amid speculation that she may be made the party's chief ministerial face for next year's assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. 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)