STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 30 September
While countering the Gujarat chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi’s lacerating comment that she has the cushiest job among chief ministers and "only cuts ribbons," chief minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit today sought to remind Mr Modi that, "ribbons are cut when work has finished."
Mr Modi, who had addressed a massive rally in the Capital on Sunday targeted Mrs Dikshit, who is seeking a fourth term as Delhi chief minister in the Assembly elections due by November.
He said, "If there is a law and order problem, she blames the Centre. She passes the buck up (Central) or down (civic bodies)."
Mrs Dikshit shot back, "He (Mr Modi) does not know basic structure of administrative functioning."
She rapped Mr Modi for "lowering the norms" of politics by indulging in personal attacks and stoking controversy on a "non-issue".
Mr Modi had accused Rahul Gandhi of committing the "sin" of insulting the Prime Minister on the ordinance protecting convicted lawmakers.
"The attack was not as per political norms of the country. Political attacks should not be personal. There should be some dignity in politics," said Mrs Dikshit. In his rally yesterday, Modi slammed Rahul and asked people to decide in the next Lok Sabha polls if the nation will be run based on the Constitution or whims of the "prince".
He had also criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying though he is ‘sardar’, he is not ‘asardar'(effective).
"His attack on Rahul Gandhi showed he had done it without understanding the issue," said Mrs Dikshit. While referring to the purported comparison of Singh to a village woman by Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, Dikshit chided Modi and said he tried to stoke a controversy on a "non-existing" issue. "I think he has created a controversy when there was no need to create one. His comments were without basis," she said.
She also tore into her Gujarat counterpart over his criticism of power cuts in Delhi.
"Just imagine there are power cuts in the country’s capital city. Even the Prime Minister’s house has a generator back-up. Despite having plants with huge production capacity, the government cannot give ample power supply; not because there is no coal but due to lack of vision and foresight," Mr Modi had said.
To which, Mrs Dikshit retorted, "I would ask him, where is electricity supplied 24 hours except Kolkata, Mumbai and few other cities? Generators are installed for security and safety purposes in PM’s house."
The BJP is trying to edge its way back in Delhi after 15 years of being out in the cold. It sees an opportunity in a possible anti-incumbency vote against Mrs Dikshit, who has bucked that trend for the last two elections.