Preparing for the Commonwealth Games was as challenging as winning the elections, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said today as she keeps "fingers crossed" over successful completion of the mega sporting event after going through anxious moments in the run up to it.
Dikshit, who is fully satisfied with the spectacular opening ceremony of the Games, feels that much of the criticism preceding it was "premature" as "everything was in place" before the commencement of the event on October 3.
Admitting that there were some delays in infrastructure projects, she blamed lack of coordination and multiplicity of authorities besides "unprecedented heavy rains" that stopped only a week before the Games.
In an interview to PTI, she acknowledged that she had gone through "anxious moments" when there was widespread criticism and questions were raised over the preparedness as India's image was at stake.
"Fingers are still crossed. It began very well. It has to end just as well...There is still lots of work to do," said Dikshit who also was a target of criticism for the delays of some projects.
Asked whether there was any moment when she lost hope of putting everything in place in time, the 72-year-old Chief Minister emphatically replied in the negative.
"No, I never lost hope. I was naturally, as any human being would be, disturbed by the media reports, particularly calling the Games not CWG but shame Games. That reflected on our own country. Probably that helped us to work harder," she said while thanking everybody for standing by and supporting her through the difficult time.
Queried whether the preparation for the Games was a tougher challenge than winning the assembly elections which she has done for three consecutive terms, Dikshit said the challenge was "almost equal", but hosting of the event had international dimension.
"I think equal.... Challenge is almost (equal). When you contest elections, we know exactly what we have to do because every little voter has to be looked at. So it was as big a challenge if not bigger," she said.
"Your election does not have international ramification but this one had international ramification," she added.
As the Games have kicked off, she said "nobody is complaining about the venues."
Dikshit contended that the criticism had come "even before the act had started...(It was) premature criticism. It became a kind of a race to say what is wrong."
In this context, she said some section of the media had gone "overboard".