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UP elections: Will campaign if Congress wants me to, says Sheila Dikshit

india Updated: Jan 23, 2017 21:22 IST
UP elections

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi with former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit in Allahabad.(PTI File Photo)

A day after her party sealed an alliance with Samajwadi Party for Uttar Pradesh polls, Sheila Dikshit said on Monday she has withdrawn herself as Congress’ chief ministerial candidate but would continue to campaign in the politically-crucial state if the party leadership wants.

“I am no longer the chief ministerial candidate of Congress in UP. I had said it before that I will be happy to withdraw myself as the CM nominee in case of an alliance with SP,” she said.

The three-time Delhi chief minister, however, said she was ready to campaign hard for Congress if the party high-command wants her to continue her involvement in Uttar Pradesh.

“I am happy that both SP and Congress finally came together. I think the poll outcome for Congress will be better than what we would have done while contesting the polls alone. Though things are not very clear now, I think SP-Congress alliance will get majority,” Dikshit told PTI.

In July last year, Congress had named 79-year-old Dikshit as the party’s chief ministerial face and she had campaigned across the state in the last few months.

Ending days of suspense, Congress and SP on Sunday finalised the alliance under which SP will contest 298 of 403 seats while Congress will fight in the remaining 105 constituencies.

Congress had made Dikshit the party’s CM face, thinking that her Brahmin background will help the party woo the community. Dikshit is the daughter-in-law of Congress veteran from UP late Uma Shankar Dikshit, a tall Brahmin leader who had served as a Union minister and governor for a long time.

The Brahmin community, a traditional vote bank of Congress, had shifted allegiance to BJP in the aftermath of the Mandir-Mandal politics.