Rahul pats Sheila, confident of Delhi victory

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Sunday exuded confidence that the Sheila Dikshit-led government would return for a fourth term in Delhi. He said Dikshit was responsible for the "transformation" of the national capital.

"I have full confidence that the Congress will win again in Delhi," Gandhi said Sunday at a public rally in west Delhi's Mangolpuri area.

"In the last 15 years, Sheila Dikshit has transformed Delhi and left no stone unturned in this process," Gandhi said, praising the three-time chief minister and the Congress government in Delhi.

The Congress vice president listed the achievements of the Congress government, which has ruled Delhi since 1998, citing as examples the rapid expansion of the Delhi Metro, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, and the food security bill.

He said Delhi Metro's model was being adopted even by foreign countries like Indonesia, and that the United Progressive Alliance government at the centre had given a "shining and world-class" airport to Delhiites.

"No one can say 'there's been no development in Delhi', not even the opposition," he added.

The 43-year-old leader also emphasised that it is Delhi which embraces people from outside the capital.

"We take every one together and walk. Those who come from outside, we hold their hands and march ahead along with them," he said.

Gandhi trumpeted the gains of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre, listing its achievements in the past decade, and focused on the rights-based acts -- Food Security Act and Right to Information, among others.

He urged the crowd of about 5,000 people to "fight the battle for the Congress", irrespective of impediments, and make it victorious in the Dec 4 Delhi assembly polls.

The Gandhi scion hailed the power scenario of the capital, saying that there are no power cuts.

Aam Aadami Party and Bharatiya Janata Party have been vociferously campaigning against the high power tariff, and the alleged collusion between the Delhi government and power companies.

Gandhi said the opposition was opposed to people's participation in decision-making.

"I want the voices of youth and women to reach state assemblies and parliament, but the opposition is opposed to it. They want the bureaucracy to run this country," he said, in an indirect reference to BJP.

He said he wants the future prime ministers and presidents to be from the crowd, as the real power lies with common people.

He rejected claims that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had helped build infrastructure in the capital. "We built roads three times more than the NDA," he said.

He was accompanied by Sheila Dikshit, the party's state unit chief J.P. Agarwal, Shakeel Ahmed, AICC secretary in-charge for Delhi and three Delhi cabinet ministers.

Dikshit requested Rahul Gandhi to make provision for handing over "single command" to Delhi, citing that multiplicity of authorities had become an obstacle in the development of the capital.

A couple of Delhi Congress leaders ended up committing faux pas at the large public rally addressed by the Congress vice president.

Delhi MLA Jai Kishan, addressing the public at his loudest, unwittingly mixed up the names of Rahul Gandhi and his father and former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991.

"For this country, Rahul Gandhi has sacrificed his life," Kishan said.

Another Delhi Congress leader Kuldip Nagra ended up describing Arvinder Singh Lovely as a minister of the central government. Lovely is minister of urban development in the Delhi government.

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