New Delhi: With Congress naming Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial face in Uttar Pradesh, BJP today said the "retired" leader has been projected so that she can be "blamed for the certain loss" of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi in the state and dubbed the party as a sinking ship.
Dikshit's elevation has also sparked fresh buzz in the saffron party over whether it will also name a chief ministerial candidate as all other major parties, SP, BSP and Congress, will join the fray with their pick for the top post.
Brahmin votes are crucial for the BJP's fortune in the state, which goes to the polls early next year, and Congress has apparently chosen the former Delhi Chief Minister, who is daughter-in-law of the state Congress heavyweight Umashankar Dikshit, in a bid to win a section of them to their side.
National Secretary Shrikant Sharma, however, played down the buzz and said BJP's face was development and other parties were doing a debate on the chief ministerial nominee to dilute its plank of progress and good governance.
He also sought to puncture Dikshit's credentials, referring to her long hibernation following Congress' loss in Delhi.
"She is almost 80 and a retired and elderly leader. There were first reports about Rahul Gandhi being his party's face in UP and then Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was projected. Now they have named Dikshit. She has been projected so that she could be blamed for the certain loss Rahul and Priyanka will suffer in the state.
"Congress is a sinking ship and has no relevance in the state. Whatever experiments Congress may do in UP, none of them will work. Our fight is with Samajwadi Party and Congress is not even in reckoning. It is sinking ship," he said.