Source: News Bharati English14 Jul 2016 17:21:22

New Delhi, July 14: The battered Congress party finally sought the last refuge in the ‘grand old lady’ Sheila Dixit as its chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh. The state, that provided prime ministers to the nation, will be going to the assembly polls later this year or early next year.

The party has made an announcement to this effect Thursday officially declaring her name as party’s official candidate for the post of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

The 78-year-old Sheila Dixit is the daughter-in-law of former Congress leader Uma Shankar Dixit, who was a union minister and a governor for a long time, besides being a Brahmin face of the party.

It may be mentioned that Shiela Dixit had indicated her willingness to jump into the political battle of UP by saying “as a daughter-in-law of the state, she is ready to play the role in UP elections”.

Dikshit had met party President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi last month during which she was said to have been sounded by them for a leading role in UP.

It may be mentioned that Sheila Dixit, who had been the former chief minister of Delhi, faces corruption charges.

With minority (read Muslim) vote bank shifting away from the Congress, it is trying to woe the Brahmin voters – its traditional vote bank- who had shifted their allegiance to the BJP in the aftermath of Ayodhya movement. A section in the Congress party feels that this section should be brought back to the party fold. Sheila Dixit can be that Brahmin face, the Congress bosses feel.

A section in the Congress party feels that this section should be brought back to the party fold. Sheila Dixit can be that Brahmin face, the Congress bosses feel.

The Congress shattered and confused by the series of electoral defeats, has tried to introduce Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, after the failure of Rahul Gandhi. But her reluctance forced the party bosses to refrain from making the announcement.

As things stand today, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is expected to lead the election campaign of the party in Rae Bareli and other places in the State.

Congress today faces a stiff challenge in Uttar Pradesh. It lost the power in 1989 and since then only dreamt of recapturing the power—a dream that never materialised as yet. In the present scenario, the Congress seems to have played this ‘trump card’ to challenge the leadership charisma of SP veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP Supremo Mayawati. It will be interesting to see how the ‘Congress hand’ succeeds in stopping the advance of SP’s bicycle and BSP’s elephant.

A large chunk of Brahmin votes had also gone to Mayawati’s BSP in the past when she gave tickets to many candidates belonging to the community. The community’s support determines the poll outcome in several seats in central and eastern UP.