Dikshit seeks 4th term to continue growth story, attacks Modi

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 02, 2013 14:25 hrs

New Delhi: Facing a tight triangular contest, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today sought people's support for a fourth consecutive term to continue the Delhi's growth story and charged Opposition, particularly Narendra Modi, with "misleading" voters while asserting that Aam Admi Party will not be challenge to Congress.

In a press conference just before end of campaign for Wednesday's polls, a combative Dikshit chose to attack Modi, countering his charge that she failed to solve major problems facing the city and rolled out statistics arguing that Delhi has done better than Gujarat on many counts such as providing support to weaker sections and social sector spendings.

"The gentleman who claimed Gujarat is the best served state, I have the answers. The Opposition parties are misleading people. They said we have destroyed the city. If it is so then why people elected us for three terms," she said.

Maintaining that the contest will be between Congress and BJP, 75-year-old Dikshit, who led her party to victory in three assembly polls, rejected results of the opinion polls that predicted Arvind Kejriwal's AAP as a major factor in the election.

"The contest will be between BJP and Congress and I am confident of winning the polls for a fourth term," the Chief Minister, who led from the front the Congress campaign, said.

Seeking people's support to continue the "development agenda", Dikshit highlighted her government's achievements in the last 15 years in diverse fields including education, health care, infrastructure, environment and social sector and promised to make Delhi one of the most talked about cities in the world if Congress retained power.

"Either the Opposition parties are naive what they are saying or deliberately trying to mislead people," she said, adding Delhi is considered one of the most comfortable cities in the country.

"But we want to make Delhi one of the most talked about cities in the world. There has been lot of unfinished work and we need people's support to complete them," she said.

Comparing Delhi's performance with Gujarat, she said 19 per cent people in the BJP-ruled state are under severe poverty against Delhi's 3 per cent. On sewerage, she said 96 per cent area in Delhi have the sewer network against 47 per cent in Gujarat.

"In Delhi, we provide Rs 1000-1,500 as monthly pension to vulnerable section like old people and widows while the amount in Gujarat is Rs 200 to 400. Our green cover is much impressive than Gujarat. I expect people of Delhi to understand all these," she said.

"And the person gives advice to Prime Minister to adopt Gujarat model of development. We are ahead of that state," Dikshit said.

Modi had severely attacked the Delhi Chief Minister during his rallies here in the last few days, accusing her of failing to address any of the major challenges including scarcity of water in the last 15 years.

"We have changed the face of Delhi. People who want to have a comfortable life come to Delhi. The youths who were small children in 1998 will not realise the transformation. They did not see BJP's rule," Dikshit said.

Exuding confidence of electoral victory, Dikshit said "people will have to choose between pace of development and slow down, between track record of Congress and hollow promises of BJP."

"It is looking evident that the BJP is getting to ready to once again sit on the opposition benches. The main reason behind my observation is that the electorate are not being carried away by the rhetoric and theatrics of the BJP," she said.

Comparing country's growth rate with that of Delhi, she said against national average of 8.33 per cent, the city had 10.33 per cent growth rate in the last five years. Dikshit said if voted to power her government would double the GDP in the next five years by a slew of policy initiatives.

Identifying traffic congestion and lack of parking as major challenge, Dikshit said to solve the problem Congress government will set up a "Central Parking Authority" if voted to power.

"We will set up a Central Parking Authority to address the problem of parking in Delhi. To address the problem of traffic congestion, we have planned to construct double-decker flyovers," she said.

Promising to work hard for putting in place common economic zone comprising the NCR region, she said services sector will be given status of industry to make Delhi a hub of "clean technology"

"We want to increase the skill based serviced sector so that we can make 30,000 new jobs a year," she said.

Asked about full-statehood for Delhi, Dikshit said she would push hard for a "Single Command" to address the problems of multiplicity of authorities.

The Chief Minister said for Annshree Yojana, Public Distribution System and Food Security Scheme, government would set up vending machines to disburse food grains to ensure transparency.

She also promised to regularise all unauthorised colonies and said no demolition will be allowed if Congress returned power. Dikshit also promised to provide low cost houses to all slum dwellers.

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