CM sets own pace: Seven rallies in six hours

Even as party workers raised slogans and cheered her on,the absence of Congress’s national leadership did not go unnoticed.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: December 2, 2013 3:09:27 am

Making an appeal to be voted to power for the fourth consecutive term,Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday addressed rallies and public meetings in seven Assembly constituencies — all on her own. Even as party workers raised slogans and cheered her on,the absence of Congress’s national leadership did not go unnoticed.  

Dikshit began her day in her New Delhi constituency,addressing party workers and voters in the traditional Congress stronghold. Her message was simple: “Vote for the party because of the developmental work that has changed Delhi in the last 15 years.”

The CM appealed to the urban voter,quoting Delhi’s GDP and growth rate. “Growth in Delhi has been exponential and the hard-work of Delhi’s people has shown us the way. If voted to power,we will continue to make our dreams for Delhi a reality,” she pledged.

While Dikshit was warmly greeted by party workers wherever she went,there were several notes of discontent among the public. “We are the voters. She should be talking to us. But she has been surrounded by netas,” Ajay Parashar,a resident of RBI colony in Sarojini Nagar,said.

While the attempt to cement her hold in her constituency took up half her day,Dikshit,“with support only from local leaders”,proceeded on a penultimate blitz of seven rallies in six constituencies in six hours. When the absence of the Congress top brass was pointed out,she said,“I am not campaigning alone.”

She arrived at Madanpur Khadar in the Okhla constituency via a particularly dilapidated — but arterial — road. Addressing voters there she said,“If voted to power,a road for this area would be made top priority.”

While promising multi-specialty hospitals,primary schools and colleges for the area,she admitted that the area had not seen as much development,“as the rest of the city”.

However,her address there didn’t seem to raise enthusiasm among voters. Local MLA Asif Mohammad Khan’s fervent vote appeals for the CM failed to draw a crowd. Even Daler Mehndi’s songs in praise of Sheila managed only a fleeting flutter of excitement.

Onlookers manoeuvred around the stage to catch a glimpse of the chief minister,claiming they had “only seen her once in the last 15 years”.

Only her promise to change the face of the constituency in the next five years through development of resettlement colonies was greeted with applause.  

She also rubbished BJP’s claims of slashing power tariff by 30 per cent in Delhi and challenged voters to find “if they managed to do so in their states”.

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