In naming Dikshit, Congress tries to make a serious pitch

Former Delhi leader can attract brahmin votes, but party is not a top contender in UP

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | July 14, 2016 | New Delhi


#UP Polls   #Assembly Elections   #Uttar Pradesh   #BJP   #Congress   #Sheila Dikshit   #Uttar Pradesh elections  


Sheila Dikshit, Congress veteran and former chief minister of the national capital, will be the chief ministerial candidate of the party for the Uttar Pradesh elections, scheduled for early next year.

Dikshit has set the record as the longest-serving chief minister of Delhi. I remember interviewing her just after her party had won the 2008 assembly elections, giving her a third term. I asked her when we would see her in national politics, and she had said that it was up to the party to decide her role. While plans for her greater role in national politics were being discussed, she lost the 2013 assembly elections to Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal.

Dikshit’s entry into politics has been called accidental. She was married to Vinod Dikshit, an IAS officer and son of Uma Shankar Dikshit, a union minister in the Indira Gandhi government. It was through this family connection that she landed in politics. While she served as a parliamentarian from UP once, she lost three consecutive Lok Sabha elections from the state after 1989, before moving to Delhi politics in 1998.

While serving as the chief minister in Delhi for 15 years, Dikshit brought immense growth and infrastructural development in the city. Her focus was on improving health, education, infrastructure and transport. She has been widely recognised for her contribution in the development of the city. However, she also faced widespread criticism for alleged scams related to Commonwealth Games infrastructure in 2010 and now for the contracts for water tanks.

Uttar Pradesh, which has sent to the Lok Sabha the maximum number of prime ministers so far, was a stronghold of the Congress once upon a time. However, with the rise of the BJP as well as the regional forces, the grand old party has lost a lot of ground in the state. It has been relegated to the fourth position, though the party is trying hard to regain the lost ground. The Congress at present has only two Lok Sabha seats from the state – that of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and in the assembly it has 28 representatives.

Ahead of the next big gamble on the radar, as BJP and Mayawati’s BSP are roaring to trounce the ruling Samajwadi Party, the Congress is not seen as a main player, but UP being the most populous and politically key state, Dikshit’s new role is going to attract attention.

The decision to give the command of the UP elections to Dikshit will be critical for the party. Dikshit, 78, has changed the look of the national capital. But Delhi is different from UP, in both geographical and demographical sense. She is not at the peak of her career and in fact lost her last election in Delhi.

But caste plays a very important role in UP assembly elections. She is a brahmin, a cast that constitutes around 13 percent of voters in the state. And all the parties today are trying hard to woo brahmin voters because of their crucial numbers in the state. So, she would be the face of critical brahmin voters and also of development she carried out as Delhi chief minister. The Congress definitely relies hard on these two factors.

Comments

 

Other News

Evaluating public-private partnership, the right way

Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) projects are always under scrutiny, given the options of alternative of traditional procurement for the government. The value-for-money debate is one of the essential parameters to judge any PPP. In the absence of any credible data on this regard, it is very difficult to e

Electoral bonds emerge as preferred mode of political donation

Electoral bonds, introduced in January 2018 to bring in transparency in political funding, has emerged as the preferred route for making donations to parties, according to an analysis of the parties’ audit reports by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). “Given the anonymi

On Met Dept’s foundation day: let’s talk weather

With a humble beginning in 1875, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) – which is celebrating its 145thFoundation Day on January 15 – has marched forward with various milestones and paradigms to serve the society. When weather and climate are playing more and more role in our daily lives, h

You have to sometimes find your adversary No. 1: Prithviraj Chavan

Prithviraj Chavan, a senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister, is the key architect of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance that came to power after the three-day government of the BJP, supported by Ajit Pawar of NCP, fell apart just before the supreme court ordered an open b

Connecting the dots: Environmentalism, development and health

Every winter Delhi experiences some of the worst air pollution levels in the world. Concentrations of particulate matter – PM10 and PM2.5 – regularly hover around values of 400 to 500, levels that are considered extremely hazardous by both Indian and international air quality standards. Doctors

Stimulate demand to revive economy: Abhijit Banerjee

Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee has sounded an alarm on the economic crisis and compared the present situation to the 1991 economic crisis, stressing that to revive the economy it is important to stimulate demand. Like elsewhere in the world, the level of trust in experts and the e



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter