Still trying to absorb her party's drubbing in Assembly polls, Sheila Dikshit today accused Delhi Congress party and its president J P Agarwal of not enthusiastically backing her but stopped short of saying that it was deliberate.
75-year-old Dikshit lost her bid for a fourth term as Delhi's Chief Minister with Congress only bagging eight seats in the 70-member assembly, way behind BJP's 31 and newcomer Aam Admi Party's (AAP) 28. Her own defeat at the hands of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal by a whopping 25,000 votes was an additional shock.
" Has defeat, both of the party and her own sunk in?" Dikshit was asked during an interview with PTI.
In a philosophical vein, she responded by saying that "in a democratic set up there is nothing beyond the people. So, they have taken a decision".
What worries her a lot is the fact that the people's verdict in Delhi is fractured with no party in a position to form the government raising the likelihood of a spell of President's rule followed by fresh elections.
"I was so certain that Delhi people will be sensible and will not go in for instability and bad governance. But it has happened," she said.
Asked if she was a victim of the mistakes of the central government including price rise and corruption scandals, Dikshit replied, "I am also part of the system. Why should I be the victim?"
Pressed further as to whether being the Chief Minister of national capital was a double whammy, she replied in the affirmative but added, "I have to carry my own burden".
Dikshit went on to say that there was absence of coordination between the party and the government in Delhi with which the central government had nothing to do.
"The party was not active enough," she affirmed before elaborating that though her government had prepared a lot of documentation about the work done by it, the party merely told the people "bahut kaam hua (lot of work has been done)". That is not enough, she said.
She did not think that the party was enthusiastically backing her.
Asked if she was blaming Agarwal, she responded with a terse, "well, if I am head of the government, I have to take that responsibility", suggesting that the DPCC chief should do the same.
"I don't think so," she replied when asked if Agarwal was fully with her.
When asked if this was deliberate, Dikshit said, "I would not like to sort of assume these things. But yes, I think there should have been a little more activity (on the part of the party unit)."
The outgoing Chief Minister said she and her party were taking the results with "great humility".
However, she said her own defeat by over 25,000 votes at Kejriwal's hand was unexpected. "No. Because, when I used to go to people, and I had six to seven rallies every day, the response was fantastic, absolutely fantastic," she said when asked if she had expected losing her own seat.
On whether the central leadership had left her during the final lap of the campaigning, Dikshit said such a perception was not correct as Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and a number of Chief Ministers including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Oommen Chandy and Prithviraj Chavan campaigned in Delhi.
"It is not a fair comment to make. Why should anybody leave me alone," she said.
Dikshit said AAP spun dreams and people fell into their trap. "I think people sort of got attracted or fell into their (AAP) trap."
"See what they provided them was not run of the mill kind of politics. But you know the difference. It was kind of a dream being sold. It had no background, it had nothing. I think it was an aura," she added.
Asked about the third force in Delhi and what was its significance, she said that depends on what their performance is going to be.
On whether the result of the election has larger implications nationwide, she said, "It's too early to say."
Questioned whether Narendra Modi had made any difference, she said BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate had no impact on Delhi polls.
"No, I don't think so. If he had (any impact) then why did not the BJP get full majority," she said.
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