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Sheila hints at central role

New Delhi, Nov. 22: Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit today hinted at the possibility of a bigger role for herself post the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

“If we do not win (the Delhi Assembly elections), the likelihood of which is little less, we will still go with the system. I will wait till the parliamentary elections and see who comes to power at the Centre. Then wherever my party tells me to go, I shall go,” said Dikshit in an interaction with journalists at the Indian Women’s Press Corps.

For political pundits, the Delhi polls have become the toughest to guess among the five Assembly elections with the entry of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party in the fray.

Dikshit, who has been the chief minister for three consecutive terms beginning 1998, however, does not feel threatened by the new entrant. “About the AAP, the less said the better. For me, the main contender is the BJP, which is an established party,” she said.

The AAP has been claiming that it will win 47 seats, while both the Congress and the BJP have till now steered clear of any such assertions. Of the total 70 MLAs in the Delhi Assembly at present, 43 are from the Congress.

Dikshit, who talked about her own model of good governance, ruled out that Narendra Modi and his development record would make any difference in Delhi. “He is a prime ministerial candidate (of the BJP) not the Prime Minister yet. I do not think he will have any impact here at all,” she said.

About the AAP, she said the party has been too sanctimonious. “They are a new party which promised to change the style of governance but have been exposed now and only time will tell their fate.”

The chief minister was referring to the recent sting operation by a news portal that alleged that several AAP leaders, including Shazia Ilmi and Kumar Vishwas, were involved in raising funds through illegal means without giving money receipts.

Fighting for a fourth term, Dikshit said she is not grappling with anti-incumbency. “It is assumed that if you are running for a fourth term there will be anti incumbency, I do not see it,” she said.

True to her belief, the Congress has fielded all the 43 sitting MLAs, ruling out the “fatigue” factor, though internal surveys have pointed out that at least 13-14 of them will lose their seats.