Fate of Congress big guns Digvijaya Singh, Sheila Dikshit and Bhupinder Singh Hooda at stake
According to the Congress, it was the decision of party president Rahul Gandhi to field senior leaders who have an appeal among people as it will send a positive message to party cadre and voters.
NEW DELHI: The sixth phase of polling on Sunday will seal the fates of three top Congress leaders and former chief ministers Digvijaya Singh, Sheila Dikshit and Bhupinder Singh Hooda. For the big three, it is seemingly an important electoral battle as the results are likely to set the future course of their political journeys.
According to the Congress, it was the decision of party president Rahul Gandhi to field senior leaders who have an appeal among people as it will send a positive message to party cadre and voters.Former Haryana chief minister Hooda is contesting LS elections after a gap of 15 years and it is being said that his winning from Jat-dominated Sonipat constituency is expected to decide if he will lead the party in the Assembly election later this year. Hooda himself has taken it up as a challenge and has said that a win in Sonipat will pave for chief ministership. The Congress lost Haryana Assembly polls in 2014 contested under his leadership and the BJP for the first time formed government in the state on its own.
“These elections are kind of an in house battle both for Hooda and state party chief Ashok Tanwar, who is also contesting from Sirsa, and would decide who will lead the party for assembly elections. Both camps are putting all their might to win,” said a Congress leader from Haryana.The two-time chief minister is engaged in a triangular battle against Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) Dushyant Chautala and BJP’s sitting MP Ramesh Kaushik.
He is not alone as the fate of three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit also hangs on her win from northeast Delhi seat. A win would re-establish her hold over the party affairs after she was appointed the Delhi Congress chief in January this year.
“Keeping in mind the Delhi Assembly elections scheduled next year, a win for Sheila Dikshit means she is back in the game and calling the shots,” said party sources. She had last contested elections in 2013 for Delhi assembly when she lost to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi constituency. The octogenarian had contested Lok Sabha elections last in 1998.
Dikshit reportedly has differences with former Delhi chief Ajay Maken, who is contesting from New Delhi constituency and a win will be decider for both of them.Another key fight being watched keenly is in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh, a sitting Rajya Sabha member, is taking on BJP’s Pragya Thakur, the Malegaon blast accused, who is out on bail.
“Digvijaya stature in the party has been on a decline and winning the seat would establish his importance in the state politics that has chief minister Kamal Nath and party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia as key leaders,” added a party leader.