Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said that development was the main issue she highlighted while campaigning for the Northeast Delhi Lok Sabha constituency in the ongoing general elections. "This constituency is extremely underdeveloped. It is a part of Delhi, but the people here are suffering much more than I ever imagined. I want to bring this constituency on a par with the rest of Delhi," she told NDTV on a day the national capital voted as part of the sixth phase of the polls.
Ms Dikshit reiterated that she feels no remorse over the Congress not being able to form a tie-up with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to take on the BJP, and expressed confidence that her party will be able to win all seats on its own. "We are feeling very comfortable with ourselves. We are contesting all the seven seats in Delhi," she said.
However, AAP does not feel as positive about the Congress' decision to go it alone in many states across the country. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed in an interview with news agency PTI on Friday that Congress president Rahul Gandhi would have only himself to blame if the BJP storms back to power yet again.
"Congress is harming the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Left in Kerala, Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh and AAP in Delhi... If Narendra Modi comes back to power, Rahul Gandhi will only be responsible," he said, adding that the Congress appears to be fighting the elections "against opposition parties instead of the BJP".
Although the Congress was initially willing to form an alliance with AAP in Delhi, it ruled out the possibility of coming to a seat-sharing agreement in neighbouring Haryana. The two parties engaged in intense bargaining for a few months in the run-up to the general elections before finally calling it quits a few days ago.
Ms Dikshit, who was appointed as the Delhi Congress chief in January, is facing off against the BJP's Manoj Tiwari and AAP's Dilip Pandey in Northeast Delhi. The results will be declared on May 23.
(With inputs from PTI)