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Sheila, Cong's answer to Nitish

Bihar, where development is one of the biggest issues this election season, has for long associated this word with its chief minister, Nitish Kumar. But the Congress plans to change this and has brought its own development mascot to the state — Sheila Dikshit. Atul Mathur and Aurangzeb Naqshbandi report.

delhi Updated: Oct 30, 2010 00:46 IST

Bihar, where development is one of the biggest issues this election season, has for long associated this word with its chief minister, Nitish Kumar. But the Congress plans to change this and has brought its own development mascot to the state — Sheila Dikshit.

The three-term chief minister of Delhi has already made two whirlwind tours of Bihar (October 19-20, 26-27) and attended close to 15 meetings.

Even the Commonwealth Games controversies can't take away from the turnaround she brought about in Delhi in her 12 years of rule, Congress managers feel.

"Delhi witnessed all-round development in the past few years… (In Bihar) not a single megawatt of power was added; there is no industry, no support system for industries, no hospital has come up, no new university has opened," Dikshit said.

"These things bring future to any state (sic)."

Speaking of the exodus of migrant workers from Bihar to Delhi, she said: "If their own state was developed, they would not have to migrate... nobody wants to leave home."

"Delhi is the heart of India and she the face of development in Delhi. Her campaign is focused on development issues and she narrates the story of work done in Delhi," said Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed.

Dikshit, who led the Congress to a third consecutive term in the Capital in 2008, has been the party's development face in all elections since.