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  Metros   Delhi  22 Jan 2018  I wanted to step down as CM much earlier: Sheila Dikshit

I wanted to step down as CM much earlier: Sheila Dikshit

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 22, 2018, 1:06 am IST
Updated : Jan 22, 2018, 6:27 am IST

Dikshit writes about her 3 terms in office, electoral loss in her memoir.

Sheila Dikshit
 Sheila Dikshit

NEW DELHI: Sheila Dikshit wanted to step down as the Delhi chief minister in 2012 because of health concerns and also to enable the Congress to find another leader before the next Assembly elections, but the December 16 gang rape of a young woman firmed up her resolve to stay on.

In her memoir, she said  that resigning then would have been seen as fleeing the “battlefield”.

“After the Nirbhaya incident, I was in a bind. My family, which had seen my distress throughout that period, urged me to step down as planned earlier, but I felt that such a move would be seen as running away from the battlefield,” Dikshit writes in Citizen Delhi: My Times, My Life.

The recently published memoir takes readers through the life-long journey of Delhi's longest serving chief minister.  Ms Dikshit also writes about her three terms in office, the changes she brought about in Delhi, the difficulties she faced and the electoral loss in 2013, among other things.

About her defeat to AAP in 2013, Ms Dixit said: “Our party was defeated in unambiguous terms… I myself was defeated by a margin of over 25,000 votes, losing the New Delhi seat to Arvind Kejriwal of AAP, a party that many of us had underestimated.”

Ms Dikshit said there  were many who attributed the loss to public anger against the Centre as the Delhi government was often identified with the UPA-2 because it was a Congress-led government.

“There was one more factor, I feel. A considerable chunk of voters who were casting their ballot for the first time, had not seen the Delhi of 15 years ago. To them, Delhi with regular power, flyovers and Metro rail, as well as several new universities, was their ‘natural right’ and, therefore, taken for granted. They could not be expected to feel ecstatic about it.”

She said following allegations of graft in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2G spectrum allocation as also Anna Hazare’s anti-graft movement, which was supported by an aggressive media, cracks started showing in the UPA
government.

“During the debates and discussions in and outside Parliament, it was unable to communicate the simple fact that apart from a vigilance system, the country already had laws and regulations to tackle corruption," she says. The central government, Ms Dixit said, ended up looking “tentative” when “decisive political management” was needed.

Tags: sheila dikshit, nirbhaya incident