"I am irrelevant. I would plump for Akhilesh and an alliance with him. So why shouldn't he be the CM?" Dikshit had told News18 two weeks ago at her residence in Delhi.
During the conversation, the 78-year-old and a three-time chief minister also admitted what was suspected all along: "I never wanted to become the CM face."
Dikshit's opting out would make things easier for the Congress which would otherwise have had to look for a face-saver in case the alliance takes shape.
Akhilesh Yadav has already made it clear that he is thrashing out a Mahagatbandhan along the lines of the RJD-JDU coming together in Bihar which defeated BJP in the Assembly polls last year. The UP alliance will see SP, Congress and Ajit Singh's RLD joining hands to take on the BJP.
Sources told News18, talks on seat sharing have reached a final phase and the alliance could be announced within 24 hours.
Congress leadership and Akhilesh Yadav were rooting for the alliance but the bitter faction feud that played out in Samajwadi Party had delayed any final deal. SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his faction led by Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh were against any truck with Congress that they suspected will only help the Congress win seats at SP's expense.
However, with the Election Commission ruling on Monday in favour of Akhilesh, decks have been cleared for the grand coalition.
Akhilesh and the Congress high command expects the alliance will be the natural choice for the state's 19% Muslim population and others who are wary of BJP coming to power in Lucknow.