Taking a swipe at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Sunday that Delhi’s development model was much better than the Gujarat one.

Ms. Dikshit went onto claim that the quality of life and infrastructure in the Capital were being praised all across the world, whereas a large number of people in the Western parts of Gujarat still lacked access to basic amenities.

Ms. Dikshit was speaking at an annual function of the Shiva Co-operative Thrift and Credit Society at Kirari near Nangloi.

She said: “The city of Delhi can boast around 24 institutions of higher education, including six State-level universities commissioned by the Delhi Government. The percentage of enrolment of girls is also higher in Delhi than a number of other States.”

The Chief Minister said development has not come at the expense of the social sector. “Ours is a prosperous and developed State as we ensured rapid development along with prosperity. We provide monthly pensions of up to Rs. 1,500 to the aged, widows and physically challenged persons. Is any other State Government providing a similar amount?” she asked. She then hinted that the question was directed at Gujarat “We, at least, do not propagate and promote hatred and division”.

Ms. Dikshit said the Delhi Government has also been striving hard to enhance the employability of the youth. “The government has entered into an agreement with the Singapore Government to set up a world-class Skill Development Centre at Jaunapur. This would ensure a better future for our youth.”

The Chief Minister also referred to the various steps taken to empower women in Delhi and stated that her government had provided women a 50 per cent reservation of seats in the civic bodies. “We were the first to do this in the country,” she said.

Claiming that hers was a “tried, tested and trusted” regime, Ms. Dikshit said: “Our performance has been certified by people in the 2003 and 2008 elections. We are still committed to developing all parts of the Capital uniformly”.

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