Sitting at her residence in Nizamuddin East, Congress’s Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit has been getting calls from across the country to discuss the party’s performance in the capital, where it finished second in five seats and third in two. A three-time chief minister, Dikshit (81) lost to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari by a margin of 3,66,102 votes. On Friday, sources said she was likely to submit her resignation over the weekend.
What worked for the BJP, and didn’t for the Congress?
Well, the campaign which the Prime Minister initiated and carried out was something that attracted the people. Probably there is a Modi wave in the country. The party will evaluate what has happened and come to a conclusion on why it happened and what we need to correct… We should have been up to the mark.
Despite finishing second, the party’s overall vote share has improved in the city. Do you see this as a sort of revival given that some were writing off the Congress in Delhi?
There is no question of writing off the Congress. The party has a history which has served India for decades. Yes, it went through a bad time, but we will analyse and correct it.
After the alliance did not work out, AAP lashed out at Congress. Do you feel alliance talk hit your campaign?
Is there anything new? They have always been targeting Congress. They have failed to fulfil promises they had made. This party (AAP) has a tradition of creating ruckus, while we have seen India’s Independence and participated in the country’s growth. However, the decision on alliance did delay (candidate) selection and getting into election mode.
Would results have been different with an alliance?
Results of any election are because of the circumstances that exist. To talk about it again, when people have taken a decision, is not correct. You can’t deliberate the judgement now because people have given the verdict.
Kejriwal also said Muslim votes shifted to Congress…
For once, he has spoken something correctly.
Congress pitched NYAY as a key promise. Do you think it failed to reach people in Delhi?
It hasn’t been talked about the way it should have been. It is a marvellous scheme… for every family to get Rs 6,000 a month so they don’t starve is something wonderful to be added into the manifesto.
How do you assess Congress’s performance in last 5 years?
In politics, there are always ups and down. We won elections for three consecutive times and ruled for 15 years in Delhi. We have been given an opportunity. What they had that time was the work we did in our tenure.