Chief Minister rules out anti-incumbency against her govt.

Ruling out anti-incumbency against her 15-year-old government, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Friday that unlike the Opposition parties, the Congress has a positive campaign for the Assembly elections.

Replying to a question suggesting the ruling party’s campaign appeared muted, Ms. Dikshit said: “We have entered the election with a positive campaign. You can see the advertisements being played in cinema halls showcasing the achievements of our government. People can see the Delhi Metro, we don’t have to advertise it. Women and the elderly are deriving direct benefits from our pension schemes. Improvement in school education is for all to see, with the pass percentage going up to 98 per cent from 32 per cent.”

“However, the negative campaign of the Opposition is noticed more. For example, the posters of the BJP raising the issue of rape are noticed because it is anti-government. But 18 years ago, rape happened in somebody’s residence and now the same person is saying they would provide security to women in Delhi,” said Ms. Dikshit, referring to BJP chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan.

The Chief Minister also played down the contention that she is facing the toughest election of her life. “All elections are tough. The only difference is the nature of toughness. In 1998, we campaigned with an agenda to bring change in Delhi. In 2013, we have a track record [of performance] and we are urging people not to change [the government],” said Ms. Dikshit.

Ms. Dikshit said it is up to the party legislators and high command to decide therole she is assigned after the elections. The three-time Chief Minister ruled out the chance of her party’s prospects being damaged by issues like inflation, stating that “people of Delhi realise that price rise is a pan-India feature”.

“Despite that, the Delhi Government has been very sensitive in providing relief to people. Whenever prices have shot up, the government has intervened. Over 200 vans were rolled out to sell onions, which brought the prices down,” said Ms. Dikshit.

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