Ready to play any role in UP: Dikshit

Ready to play any role in UP: Dikshit

Ready to play any role in UP: Dikshit
Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit, tipped to be the party's Chief Ministerial face in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls next year, today asserted that as the state's "daughter-in-law" she was ready to play any role in the politically crucial state.

Asked whether her "closeness" to the Gandhi family and her Brahmin credentials were an advantage, she said, "I am UP's daughter-in-law, I married there, I was born there. I think that's enough as a credential that way."

"Let the announcement come and then only I will be in a position to comment. But I am ready to do whatever the party wants me to as a foot soldier," Dikshit told reporters during an interaction with the media at the India Women's Press Corps here.

Congress party's election strategist Prashant Kishor is said to be in favour of a Brahmin as the party's chief ministerial face in UP elections and is believed to have suggested Dikshit's name.

Contending that one cannot "wish the Congress away", Dikshit, who originally hails from Punjab, said it was not the first time that the Congress was going through a "low phase".

Dikshit is the daughter-in-law of prominent Congress leader from UP Uma Shankar Dikshit, who served as Union minister and governor for a long time.

"The time at our disposal is short. That's the only concern I shared. Although apart from SP, none of the parties including BJP, have actively launched their poll campaign," Dikshit said on UP.

Asked whether Priyanka Gandhi would participate more actively in Congress' election campaign in UP, 78-year-old Dikshit said she would be a "great asset" will be "welcomed".

"I can't tell you what will happen. It would be too presumptuous on my part to assume things. If she joins she will very welcome because she is familiar with Uttar Pradesh. She will be a great asset," Dikshit said.

On Rahul Gandhi's probable elevation to the post of the Congress President, Dikshit wondered whether the "media imagines" a little too much on the issue saying it is a decision that the party's "Working Committee and the family" will have to take together.

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 Uttar Pradesh.

The Brahmin community, a traditional vote bank of the Congress, shifted allegiance to BJP in the aftermath of the emergence of Mandir-Mandal politics and a section in the Congress feels it should make efforts to to win back the support of the community.

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.

78-year-old Dikshit said she believes there should not be a formal retirement age for politicians and that one should serve as long as one is fit.

Asked about Kishor's role in the Congress, she said he offers advice to the party and to accept or reject those was entirely up to the party.

On AAP's campaign in Punjab, she said its popularity has dipped as the novelty factor no longer exists.

When asked to rate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's work, she said after a while people would not be interested in "verbosity".

She avoided a direct reply to a question about the debate over uniform civil code, saying "Has there been any problems with the prevailing personal laws."
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