Delhi Darling Dixit’s Defeat

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Losing to Kejriwal is like a Mosquito has bitten me, I slapped my face where it was sitting on the pretext of making the nation corruption free, but he dodged and dived toward his very own broom and vanished inside. He has been voted to make the Delhi trouble free, however, a so-called honest Maverick is not necessarily a good leader. He used to yell that Power is Poison. Now, is he gonna consume the power-poison? He won’t.
-Sheila Dixit

NEW DELHI— On Sunday morning, a posse of journos parked themselves outside Sheila Dixit’s home in central Delhi. A gripping political narrative was taking shape elsewhere: Ms. Dixit, the chief minister who had governed Delhi for 15 years, was trailing in her district to Arvind Kejriwal, a political debutant and the feisty leader of the 1-year-old Aam Aadmi Party.

The news meant a longer wait was in order before Ms. Dixit would emerge to meet the press. TV reporters, restless and idle, zeroed in on a bunch of sycophants, who had begun conducting a religious ceremony on the pavement outside Ms. Dixit’s house to pray for her victory.

By late afternoon, as Kejriwal’s lead over his opponent began to widen, it was clear that even the gods could not save her. The final results arrived in the evening, like a tectonic shift.

Kejriwal had defeated Dixit by a huge, and almost unbelievable, margin of 25,864 votes.

It was an outcome the 75-year-old Sheila Dixit could scarcely have imagined when Kejriwal, 45, formed his Aam Aadmi Party in fall last year.

In June this year, when Kejriwal announced his decision to contest directly against Dixit, it was seen as a näive and impulsive decision of a political maverick. Many considered it a form of suicide, fearing that Arvind Kejriwal’s career in politics would end even before it could get off the ground.

Ms. Dixit had been a popular CM. She had proven herself to be insulated from the national fortunes of her Congress Party by winning three successive elections in 1998, 2003 and 2008.

Under Ms. Dixit’s watch, Delhi mushroomed from being merely a government hub to an important seat of business and culture. Its economic prosperity drew citizens from all over the country, making it a truly pan-Indian city without one dominant regional affiliation. Shiela Dixit’s governance ensured that the city’s infrastructure kept pace with this rapid expansion. Ms. Dixit could boast of substantial achievements during her 15-year reign.

Her govt introduced and steadily expanded the city’s subway system, modernized and built a wide network of rubber roads and flyovers and implemented the mandatory use of CNG for public transport, which went a long way in reducing Delhi’s once-alarming pollution levels.

Even as late as 2010, Ms. Dixit’s popularity remained robust, and with few challengers on the horizon, it looked as if her reign would go on beyond the 2013 election.

But a series of unprecedented circumstances began to undermine Dixit. As discontent with the national government, also governed by her Congress Party, began to spread, Delhi, the national capital, naturally emerged as the epicenter.

In 2011, the activist Anna Hazaré, a mentor to Arvind, led a wave of anti corruption protests against the national govt after revelations of numerous scams.

Similarly furious protests were seen last year, after the brutal gang-rape and murder of a physiotherapy student in Delhi that grabbed headlines around the world.

Under siege, Dixit pleaded helplessness in both instances. In the former, she held that she could not be held accountable for the ills of the national govt. In the latter, she sought refuge in Delhi’s peculiar governing structure where the responsibility for law and order does not lie with the local govt.

There was some validity to these arguments, but in the eyes of the public, Dixit began to be seen as an opportunistic politician.
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About Shabab Khan

A Journalist, Philanthropist; Author of 'The Magician', 'Go!', 'Brutal'. Being a passionate writer, I am into Journalism and writing columns, news stories, articles for top media house. Twitter: @khantastix
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