AAP’s demand for full statehood is unrealistic and an excuse to hide its failures: Sheila Dikshit
Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday said there was “no administration” in the national capital and people are confused about the policies of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
In an interview with IANS, the former Delhi chief minister attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi for indulging in “frequent confrontations” with the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) and “not focusing” on development.
“Nothing has been done in the last one year. People of Delhi are confused about the policies of the AAP government. There are announcements every other day, but nothing is happening at the ground level. There is no administration in Delhi,” Dikshit said.
Dikshit, the first Congress chief minister to rule for three consecutive terms, further said that in the confrontation between the government and the L-G, the people of Delhi would suffer.
“When Kejriwal decided to enter into electoral politics he must have known that Delhi was not a full state. Now that he is in power he should not indulge in these confrontations. The people of Delhi are suffering because of such controversies as their problems are being overlooked,” said Diskhit, who was voted out of power by Arvind Kejriwal in 2013.
“The development of Delhi can only take place through cooperation not by confrontation,” she added.
She also said that AAP’s demand for full statehood for Delhi was “unrealistic” and an “excuse” to hide its failures.
“The demand for statehood is alright, but it is not realistic because it is the capital of the country. Constitutionally, full statehood is not possible for Delhi because of some provisions in the constitution. It is just an excuse for the government to not work and hide its failure,” Dikshit said.
During her tenure as the chief minister, Dikshit herself had raised the demand for full statehood of Delhi citing multiplicity of authorities as one of the main reasons for slow pace of development.
Asked about the reasons for her defeat in the 2013 assembly election, Dikshit attributed it to corruption allegations against the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.
She said that her government had to “pay the price of things done by others” in the central government.
“We had to pay the price of things done by others. We were in power in Delhi so naturally it (corruption allegations) directly impacted us because people thought that Delhi government was corrupt too. Whatever happens at the level of central government it has an impact on Delhi as well,” she said.
Dikshit said the public was “swayed” by the freebies promised by Arvind Kejriwal during the election campaigning in 2013.
“We had been in power for three consecutive terms so obviously people wanted a change, and moreover the voters were swayed away by the promises of free electricity and water by Arvind Kejriwal. But now, everyone is regretting having voted him to power,” she said.
Asked whether she had foreseen the impact AAP would make in the 2013 assembly election, Dikshit said she made a “mistake” by not approaching the court when AAP used her picture showing her as corrupt during the election campaign.
“Towards the end of the election I knew that AAP would make an impact because everyone was talking about it. But they used my picture showing me as corrupt for their poll campaign. I should have taken them to court. I didn’t realise it because I was busy in the election. It was a serious mistake,” she said.
Dikshit also called for a “revamp” in the Congress party after the rout in the recently concluded assembly polls in five states.
“I think the party needs to organise itself in a better way. The party should bring in new faces. There are people who are holding the posts of general secretary for many years, they should be removed and young leaders should be brought in,” she said.