Arvind Kejriwal is talented but lacks experience, says Sheila Dikshit

Launching a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party for playing divisive politics and targeting migrants in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said his party stood for development, transparency and empowerment of the common man.

Describing Delhi as a mini-India that houses people from across the country, Mr. Gandhi said his own family had also migrated to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh. He said the Congress did not discriminate between people based on their caste or religion and treated everyone equally, but the same was not true for the BJP. “The BJP and its allies like the Shiv Sena target migrants in Maharashtra and Karnataka. They create tension, but we take all along,” said Mr. Gandhi, addressing his second rally in the Capital at Ambedkar Nagar here in the run-up to the upcoming Assembly elections next month.

Mr. Gandhi, referring to the airport, improved transport facilities and power supply in the Capital, said over the past one decade Delhi has seen unparallel infrastructural development which no other city in the country could boast of. He, however, added that infrastructure alone was not enough and the Congress’ philosophy was to empower the common man. “We believe in empowerment of the common man, the women and the downtrodden. The Delhi Government has worked tirelessly towards this cause and introduced the concept of “Bhagidari” to involve common man in decision-making,” said Mr. Gandhi, adding that it was the Congress that gave people the right to information to bring transparency in decision-making.

“We brought into open the decisions that were earlier made inside closed doors,” said Mr. Gandhi, in a speech that lasted a few minutes. He further said the electorate had to make choice between Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who had proved herself with her work over the past 15 years, and the BJP, which only indulged in idle talk.

At the rally, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit tried to woo the electorates with promises of vending machines for distribution of subsidised food-items, more public toilets and hawking zones.

Ms. Dikshit said the development brought about by her government over the past 15 years was there for all to see and instead, spelled out her plans for future.

“It is time to lay the foundation of future Delhi. We plan to make special zones for hawkers, double the per capita income of Delhiites and make more public toilets. In the next five years, we plan to set up vending machines across the city on the Mother Dairy-model to distribute food-items, strengthening the Public Distribution System. Multiplicity of authority also plagues Delhi and we are for a single agency for a uniform development of the National Capital Region,” said Ms. Dikshit, adding the BJP had made false promises and levelled baseless allegations.

Saying that the Aam Aadmi Party president Arvind Kejriwal was “talented, but lacked experience,” Ms. Dikshit questioned the source of funds to his party.

Earlier, All-India Congress Committee general-secretary Shakeel Ahmed accused the BJP and the AAP of having an understanding between them.