New Delhi: Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh Sheila Dikshit on Sunday narrowly escaped with minor injuries after a makeshift platform on an open mini-truck collapsed during a roadshow here.
The 78-year-old Congress veteran lost her balance after the plank she was standing on gave way when the cavalcade was on its way to the party headquartes on Mall Avenue from the Amausi airport here. Dikshit was extended a helping hand by other leaders present there and later shifted to a car, a senior party functionary said. This was her first visit to the state capital after Congress declared her as its chief ministerial candidate for the crucial 2017 polls, considered a do-or-die battle for the party.
Congress chose 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 support of the electorally-sizeable community. The Brahmin community, a traditional Congress vote bank, had shifted its allegiance to BJP in the advent 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.
Newly-appointed UPCC chief and actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar accompanied Dikshit during the road show which started from the airport, braving intermittent smart showers. Congress has also announced coordination and campaign committees for Uttar Pradesh which will be headed by Sanjay Singh and Pramod Tiwari respectively.
The new team took over formally at the Congress headquarters later in the day.