Sheila Dikshit to be Delhi chief minister again (Lead)December 10th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday chose Sheila Dikshit to be Delhi’s chief minister for a third consecutive term, making her the longest serving woman chief minister in the country. The newly elected 42 Congress legislators, including Dikshit, passed a resolution at a meeting Wednesday afternoon authorising Congress president Sonia Gandhi to name a chief minister. Congress won 42 seats this time compared to 23 of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Congress general secretary Mohsina Kidwai, who presided over the meeting of the legislators, then telephoned Sonia Gandhi from the venue. Gandhi promptly picked the 70-year-old who led the party to a spectacular win in the Nov 29 assembly elections.
Dikshit first became chief minister of Delhi in 1998 and led the Congress to victory in 2003.
Besides Kidwai, Minister of State for Finance P.K. Bansal and Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal were present at the meeting.
“Dikshit has been lauded by one and all for steering the party to power for the third consecutive time in Delhi. So, the meeting to choose the leader was just a mere formality. The ride to chief minister’s post was smooth as compared to 2003 when the leaders took several days to zero in on her name,” said a party leader.
Dikshit fought the anti-incumbency factor and managed to take the party to a comfortable win on the plank of good governance and development despite a high-pitched campaign against her by the BJP.
For once, even the Congress politicians, otherwise known to invariably credit all election victories to the Nehru-Gandhi family charisma, praised Dikshit lavishly - an admission that she was the architect of the party’s remarkable performance.
The Congress had not declared its chief ministerial candidate before the elections but had dropped enough hints that if voted to power again, Dikshit will be at the helm of affairs.