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Sheela Dikshit on cloud nine

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 09, 2008 21:24 IST

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Coverage: Assembly polls 2008

While Sheila Dikshit, chief minister of Delhi [Images] registered an unprecedented third victory in the assembly elections, Vijay Kumar Malhotra the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate is still trying to come to grips with the hard realities of life.

"One of the biggest reasons for Malhotra's defeat is astrological. We must remember during the Pitrapaksha only religious work is allowed and since his candidature was announced during this period,  he had to overcome obstacles which he could not," Pandit Bhanu Narain Misra wrote before the elections. Many other predicted that he would not perform too well during the elections.

"Let us admit that Malhotra was no match for Shiela Dikshit and he preferred to remain aloof while Dikshit mingled with the people. This was the major differences between the two leaders. Malhotra had the stature but he was too serious a candidate. Malhotra, who contested from Greater Kailash is expected to resign from the assembly seat to contest the Lok Sabha polls."

On the contrary Sheila Dikshit, who at one stage thought of giving up politics, has brought the agenda of the Commonwealth Games [Images] to the forefront and assured the party and her supporters that the stadiums would be completed on time and games would be held as per schedule.

She made a major change in her poll strategy when she announced that she is going to address women as they formed 50 per cent of her voters. The move paid off and Sheila achieved what no other chief minister in Delhi had achieved. Dubbed as outsider when she was given the first term the grand old lady has outsmarted her rivals.

"The BJP is not worried about the fact that it did not do too badly in Rajasthan and Delhi. If you calculate the number of seats that BJP got in its kitty is 294 while congress won only 279 . The Mizo National Front's seats were never counted as part of the BJP. If we look at the number of seats that we can win include begining with Delhi, Rajasthan, Chattigarh and Madhya Pradesh [Images]. There is scope for improvement. We had been accused of playing the terror issue. But this time all our chief ministers sought votes in the name development. This is a good indication and is going to benefit us in the long run," said Shrikant, coordinator of the BJP media cell.

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