New Delhi, Jan 5: The Congress' chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, Sheila Dikshit, made a surprise announcement in which she said that the Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav would make a better candidate than her.
"I would be happy to make way for Akhilesh," she told a television channel.
Political experts are of the view that the message put out by the veteran Congress leader is an intentional one and not one of those tongue in cheek moments. It is a signal that the Congress is trying to back Akhilesh in a bid to defeat the BJP.
There is a lot of infighting within the SP today and the chances of a split are very high. The former Delhi CM's comments are meant to suggest to Akhilesh that he has the backing of the Congress to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
While the central leadership has been terming the SP's war within as a political drama, others in the UP state Congress feel that Akhilesh is the only candidate who has it within him to defeat the BJP.
Most parties have literally written off the BSP and say that the party led by Mayawati is a non-starter in UP.
The UP Congress feels that the decision by Akhilesh to distance himself from his uncle, Shivpal Yadav has only bettered his image. He could capitalise on his image of being a clean and popular leader which in turn would help fighting the BJP.
Opinion polls have been divided on UP. While one poll gives the BJP a clean sweep the other suggests a tough fight between the SP and the BJP.