Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which recently saw 20 of its MLAs being disqualified in the Office of Profit case, has a new challenge ahead of it. Challenging the AAP to face the electorate after 20 of its MLAs were disqualified recently, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has asserted that the Congress would make gains if bypolls took place. She further claimed that there is an ‘absence of credibility’ with the Kejriwal government. Stating that the AAP was trying to avoid elections, she told PTI that, had the party been confident of winning bypolls it would not have challenged the disqualification of its 20 MLAs. Dikshit, Delhi’s longest-serving chief minister also accused the Kejriwal led party of not delivering on its promises.
Supporting the disqualification of 20 of its MLAs in the Office of Profit case, Dikshit alleged that if the party thinks it can break rules and get away with it, then it is living under a ‘fallacy’. She said, “The court has decided and the President of India has endorsed that decision, so it is for them (the AAP) to see what they want to do. Face an election. When you do something like this, you should have thought of the consequences also,” as per a PTI report. She asserted that the bypolls would be a ‘referendum’ on the AAP government’s performance as it might not be able to win these seats. “The AAP was not being victimised, but being punished for what it did wrong,” said Dikshit.
Asked if the bypolls would give the Congress a chance to gain a foothold in Delhi, the Congress leader said, “Yes, I think definitely and I am sure that when it happens, we certainly will improve our position.” Hitting out at the AAP government’s contention that there was nothing wrong in the appointment of 21 parliamentary secretaries, Dikshit said there were at most just three in her government, and they received no perks. “This was a system which had been started by the previous government and we just carried it on. Whatever was allowed, within the post, that was given, nothing more than that,” she said. Dikshit maintained that if the Congress goes to polls with a coordinated strategy, it has a “very good chance” to win some of the seats.
Notably, Sheila Dikshit did not campaign for the Congress in the last Assembly polls, in which the party did not open its account in any of the 70 constituencies in the state.