‘Can’t write off Congress from Capital politics’: Sheila Dikshit

A day after the Congress stood a distant second in Delhi, losing all seven Lok Sabha seats by more than two lakh votes each, former chief minister and the state’s party president Sheila Dikshit put up brave face, saying the party would now go into the preparatory mode for the assembly polls.

Asserting that there was “no chance of writing off the Congress from Delhi’s politics”, Dikshit said the party would look at where it went wrong, try to correct them and come back stronger for the next elections.

“The margins of loss have been very huge, which means something did not work. We will see what needs to be corrected,” she told HT on Friday.

Dikshit,81, lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Manoj Tiwari from North East Delhi by over 3.5 lakh votes.

The party’s stalwarts, former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken who contested from New Delhi and former MP JP Agarwal, the party’s candidate from Chandni Chowk, also lost by more than two lakh votes. The party’s South Delhi candidate, professional boxer Vijender Singh, ended a distant third, getting just over 13% votes and losing his deposit.

The party’s performance though improved from the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Dikshit said she would work with party functionaries to chalk out a strategy for the assembly elections, where the direct competition, unlike the Lok Sabha polls, would be with the AAP.

“When you go into a state election, you compete with the government of the day. But what we can see is that the atmosphere that was there in favour of AAP has not gone up since,” she said.

Reacting to AAP writing off the Congress as contenders in Delhi, Dikshit said the Congress had too much history behind it to ever be “wiped out” in any state.

“How can a new party like AAP ever compare themselves with the Congress? We have a history of building the nation. This party has contributed to the independence struggle,” she said.

Dikshit, while agreeing that the “(Narendra) Modi wave” swung voters towards BJP, said, “We cannot deny the ‘wave’ but that does not mean we do not think about what mistakes were made from our end. We will analyse them and come back stronger,” she said.

First Published:
May 25, 2019 01:56 IST

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