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|November 10, 1998||
Dikshit threatens to expel Congress rebels
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Shiela Dikshit today said firm action would be taken against rebel candidates. They may even be expelled, she warned.
Talking to reporters at an informal get-together of the party's official candidates for the Delhi assembly election, Dikshit said no leniency would be shown and action would be taken against all the rebels.
Declaring that the Congress slogan is "better governance for a better quality of life", Dikshit said party chief Sonia Gandhi would address at least two election rallies in Delhi, one in Outer Delhi on November 15 and the other in East Delhi, the date for which is yet to be fixed.
Dikshit, who faces rebellious DPCC general secretary Ramesh Sabharwal in her Gole Market constituency, was, however, confident that the dissidents would not cut into the Congress votes this time. The official candidates are facing dissidents in about a dozen of the 70 assembly constituencies.
"These elections are going to be a straight contest between the Congress and the BJP. The voters are fed up with the BJP's misgovernance and want to vote for the Congress. They will not vote for the rebels,'' she said.
Dikshit said the party's commitment to a clean and genuinely representative polity could be gauged from its list of candidates. There are five doctors, 10 women, 12 members of the minority communities, and 33 new faces in all. Charge-sheeted politicians, including two current MLAs, have been dropped.
Kiran Walia, a college lecturer who will take on Chief Minister Sushma Swaraj in Hauz Khas, said she does not consider it a contest between two individuals, but between two parties. Terming Swaraj a "suspect candidate", Walia said she considered her (Walia's) clean image and the people's disgust with the BJP as factors in her favour.
"The Uphaar [cinema hall] tragedy in which more than 50 innocent people lost their lives shook the entire city. I would like to ask Mrs Swaraj, who was the area's MP, what she did to secure justice for the victims. Nothing,'' she said.
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