New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has taken the full responsibility for the defeat of the Congress party in the Delhi civic polls, but has maintained that the result is not a referendum on her.
Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN's Bhupendra Chaubey, the Delhi Chief Minister refused to accept that the results were a huge setback for the party.
Here’s an excerpt of the interview:
Bhupendra Chaubey: A day after the Congress has suffered a huge setback in the MCD elections in the capital, with me is Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dixit to answer that big question. You were referred to as Delhi's darling Ms Dixit. What happened? Has Delhi's darling let down?
Sheila Dikshit: No no, not at all. If I have to, I take responsibility for this but, a. You said it's a huge setback, it's not a huge setback. Remember it's a municipal election. And number 2, we have improved our tally since last time by over nine seats. And the BJP in its totality has won by only about two seats.
Bhupendra Chaubey: You don't look at this as any kind of a personal referendum. Everyone says this is a referendum on Sheila Dixit, a personal setback for you.
Sheila Dikshit: No. My referendum will come in the elections for which I stand, which is the assembly election. That's my referendum. This is not my referendum, we lost the municipal elections last one also and we came back with a great majority.
Bhupendra Chaubey: Would it be fair to say that you were the face for the Congress' campaign for these MCD elections? So if the Congress lost, it would be your responsibility?
Sheila Dikshit: No no. I take my responsibility. I'm not shying away from that. But I would not say that it is a referendum on me which is the word you are using. Well, yes the responsibility is there. We should retrospect, we are retrospecting. We should not make the mistakes that we perhaps made in this. And we lost an opportunity that's true also. But it's not a referendum on me.
Bhupendra Chaubey: Final question to you ma'am, across Delhi we've seen in the last eight years that the infrastructure has seen a huge face lift. Do you think there is a problem now with the Congress party that while your party might have done some good work, people are unwilling to buy the fact that the Congress, which is full of all kinds of scams today, it's even possible for the Congress to do anything?
Sheila Dikshit: What are the scams in the Congress may I ask? Where is it being proved? Where is the proof? The moment the proof comes out, whichever scam it may be, the guilty are put behind bars, or guilty are given punishment. But you can’t call a scam a scam just because your opponent says that this is a scam, therefore, the whole world starts believing it.
Bhupendra Chaubey: So Ms Dikshit is very much a frontrunner for the 2013 according to you?
Sheila Dikshit: It's not my being a frontrunner. My whole party will contest that election and all of us will do it together. And leave it for the people of Delhi to decide who has to become the government in 2013.