Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party have all claimed Congress's decision of naming Sheila Dikshit its chief ministerial candidate for next year's Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh would not cut much ice with the voters.
Calling the decision an "internal matter" of the Congress, senior SP leader CP Rai said, "It has to be seen as to how
Dikshit can mobilise the party workers who have remained demoralised for over two decades."
BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the "package" announced by Congress is not going to change its
policies or its future in the politically-crucial state. "Congress has been piggy-backing the SP in UP and will continue to play as the B team of SP," Pathak said.
The AAP said Dikshit's nomination as the Congress's face in Uttar Pradesh indicated that the Grand Old Party has accepted defeat even before going to the battlefield.
Congress chose 78-year-old Dikshit, a Brahmin, as its face for the polls considering "her strong credentials as chief minister of Delhi for three consecutive terms", to enable the party regain the support of the electorally-sizeable community.
The Brahmin community, a traditional Congress votebank, is believed to have shifted its allegiance to the BJP in the aftermath of the Mandir-Mandal politics. A large chunk of Brahmin votes had gone to Mayawati's BSP in the past when she gave tickets to many candidates belonging to that community, whose support determines the poll outcome in several seats in central and eastern UP.
The announcement comes days after the Congress appointed actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar as the party chief of the state. The party also announced coordination and campaign committees for Uttar Pradesh, which will be headed by Sanjay Singh and Pramod Tiwari respectively.
Dikshit thanked the party leadership for entrusting her with such a "big responsibility" and said Congress will take
on ruling Samajwadi Party, BJP and BSP equally.
Senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey said people across the nation have cornered the Congress which has no credible, honest and clean face available in Punjab and the same was happening in Uttar Pradesh.
"A tainted former chief minister, who is facing serious allegations of corruption and inquiry against whom is going on, is being made the party's face in Uttar Pradesh. This shows that like Punjab, the Congress has accepted its defeat in Uttar Pradesh even before going to the polls," Pandey said.
"With this move, the Congress is indirectly trying to help the Bharatiya Janata Party in the elections in Uttar Pradesh," he added.
With agency inputs