Former Delhi chief minister and Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit has reportedly refused the offer to become the face of chief minister candidate for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
As per a report in NDTV, poll strategist Prashant Kishor wanted a Brahmin face as the party leader in UP. Kishor has been roped by the party to boost its fortunes in next year's Assembly elections.
Earlier this month, Sheila Dikshit met party president Sonia Gandhi amid speculation that she may be made the party’s chief ministerial face for next year’s assembly polls in politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.
Dikshit, who served as Delhi Chief Minister for three terms, is said to have been sounded by the Congress high command for a leading role in Uttar Pradesh, possibly as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
She is believed to have sought time to make up her mind. Congress party’s election strategist Prashant Kishor is said to be in favour of a Brahmin face in UP elections and is believed to have suggested Dikshit’s name.
Azad, Congress’s Muslim face, takes charge of the party affairs in the key battleground state at a time when it is making attempts to woo the minorities and possibly work for an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party with which the leader has good relations.
Azad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, has been general secretary incharge of Uttar Pradesh twice before.