Delhi will be transformed, promises Sheila Dikshit (Interview)

October 17th, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The city is undergoing a transition and in two years Delhi will become a world class capital, promises Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as she prepares for another election.“Look, the city is undergoing a transition because of the Commonwealth Games. The metro is coming up, better roads are being constructed and infrastructure will rapidly improve,” Dikshit, who hopes to become chief minister for a third stint, said.

“We have always focused on the interests of the common man. Power, water and transport services are the crucial elements in determining the quality of the life of citizens. A lot has been done and a lot will be done,” Dikshit told IANS in an interview.

In two years, Dikshit said Delhi would have undergone a metamorphosis that would see the best infrastructure just before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“We have been working hard for this mega event. By the due date, we will have state of the art infrastructure.”

With just over a month left for elections - due on Nov 29 - Dikshit is confident that she will romp home for the third time and says anti-incumbency will not be a factor.

“The people of Delhi have seen the city change for the better in the last 10 years. We have the support of the common man and our development work will speak for us. We will come back to power with a thumping majority.”

Dikshit, 70, said development and economic security would be the party’s main electioneering points.

She stressed that she would also campaign for a safe Delhi but refused to elaborate. However, she was quick to point out that fears of the Muslims, who comprise 1.6 million of the capital’s estimated 15 million population, must be assuaged.

The shootout last month in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, where two suspected terrorists were killed, and the subsequent crackdown in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district have caused distress forcing several Muslim delegations to seek an audience with party leaders. Several Muslim delegations have been demanding a judicial inquiry into the incident.

“Yes, we have been receiving many representations especially from residents of Jamia Nagar who have grave doubts about the shootout. They have been gripped in fear psychosis and our foremost duty is to develop an amicable atmosphere in the region,” said Dikshit.

“Presently the people of Okhla are feeling terrorised. The atmosphere has to be smoothened. We will deliver justice at every cost and win their faith,” said Dikshit.

Dikshit came to power in 1998 after the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government was ousted because of rising prices, especially spiralling costs of onions.

The chief minister who has a formidable opponent in the BJP’s veteran V.K. Malhotra is not unduly worried over inflation, rising prices of essential commodities and the economic slump that both India and the world is currently facing - an issue that is bound to be capitalised by the opposition.

“Inflation is temporary and investors need not to worry. All our financial institutions are on sound foundation. Our economy will not lose its pace of growth,” she said.

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