`Congress will win 5 Delhi seats'

NEW DELHI, APRIL 24. Asserting that the Congress was poised to win at least five of the seven Lok Sabha seats from Delhi, the party leader in charge of Delhi affairs, Ahmed Patel, today said that "the wind is clearly blowing against the saffron party and its allies and the situation would change in favour of the Congress in the coming days''.

Confident of doing well in the Capital, Mr. Patel, who will be addressing several election meetings for the Congress candidates in Delhi from this Sunday, told The Hindu that the party was behind in two constituencies here and all efforts were being directed to cover up the weak spots. The BJP, he predicted, would not be able to get past the 150-seat mark in the country leading to its ouster from the Centre.

The Congress campaign had been progressing swiftly and the impact was visible in all the seven constituencies here, he added. Stating that the achievements of the Sheila Dikshit Government and failures of the NDA Government would form the focus of the Congress campaign in the Capital, Mr. Patel said unemployment and corruption had emerged as big issues before the people and youth of the Capital. For women, the failure of the law and order machinery to protect them from anti-social elements and the insecurity of going out alone was going be a big issue in the polls.

He termed the Vajpayee Government as "pioneer of corruption'' and said it had beaten all records with regard to involvement in scams. The NDA Government had been involved in one scam after another and corruption had become part and parcel of its agenda. Accusing the BJP and its leaders in Delhi of indulging in "political gimmicks'' whenever elections are round the corner, Mr. Patel said before the Assembly polls, the Union Government had announced guidelines for the Master Plan of Delhi and steps for regularisation of illegal industries.

Then with the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, they announced the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies. "However, all this has remained on paper and nothing has moved beyond the files. The announcements are nothing but an attempt to mislead the people on the eve of the polls, `' he said.

Referring to the "feel good factor'', Mr. Patel said an attempt was being made to create an "artificial'' atmosphere about development and growth in the country. The NDA Government had spent crores on such misleading propaganda that was now backed by the use of massive money power by the BJP. "A fa�ade is being created about things moving smoothly in the country but there were no answers as to why farmers are committing suicide, why unemployment has been on the rise, why small industries are closing down and why the poor continue to be exploited? The NDA Government has no answer to these questions but it continues to talk of `feel good' and `India Shining' when the country is faced with several other problems.''

Mr. Patel also lashed out at the BJP general secretary, Parmod Mahajan, for comparing the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with the former Prime Minister and freedom fighter, Jawaharlal Nehru. There is no comparison between Mr. Vajpayee and Nehru. Mr. Vajpayee's Government's have never completed a full term and he has lost Lok Sabha polls also.

However, in the case of Nehru, he was not only the leading light of the freedom movement but also provided stability and new direction to the country. In fact, unlike Mr. Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister never lost a Lok Sabha poll and never indulged in double talk.

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