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Dikshit, the silver lining for the Congress

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi | December 04, 2003 16:23 IST

With opinion polls predicting a clear victory for the Congress, Thursday was just another day for Delhi residents except for some who could be seen listening to the FM radio for details about the emerging trends and results.

There was no hiccup in the party's march to victory since the counting began at 8:00 am at various centres across the city.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's Mathura Road residence was swarming with Congress supporters who had begun arriving since early morning with marigold garlands, bouquets, party flags, banners and the customary sweets.

Dozens of vehicles of party workers and journalists had blocked the main gate of Dikshit's residence. On the lawn, people were hugging each other, beating drums, dancing and raised slogans praising Dikshit and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The chief minister looked extraordinarily happy and greeted everybody with a smile. Cell phone carrying supporters were briefing her every minute on the latest developments in the counting process. But she was waiting for the picture to become clearer.

As soon as the tally crossed 40, she rushed to meet Gandhi at 10, Janpath. [In the final tally, the party had got an absolute majority]

On her return, she told reporters, "Mrs Gandhi has thanked the people of Delhi. I congratulate them. They (the people) appreciated my work. Ye janta ki jeet hai (Its victory of the people)."

She said her second term as chief minister would be more challenging. "People voted for us for the manner in which we worked and the change we brought about in Delhi. The verdict is for development. The people of Delhi deserve a better quality of life. This is what they have voted for and I will not disappoint them."

She gave the credit for the landslide victory to the party. She said the party high command would decide the new cabinet. She burst into laughter when told she could now aim high in the party hierarchy.

Referring to the poor performance of her party in other two states, she said, "We shouldn't be disappointed. We are not going to sit and watch. We will have to work hard."


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