Last year's demolition and sealing drives seem to have dented the image of the Delhi government. Sheila Dikshit has finished a poor 18th among 19 chief ministers ranked by popularity in the latest HT-CNN-IBN State of the Nation Survey.
In similar surveys carried out in January and August last year, Dikshit had been ranked third and 13th respectively. This time only Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda is below her on the popularity scale.
Asked about her rank and if her government's handling of the sealing and demolition drives could be behind it, Dikshit said: "I carry out my own work in the best possible way, irrespective of any survey". She said she was not sure how many people were interviewed, what kind of questions were put to them, or what criteria were used to arrive at the rankings.
A senior Congress leader, however, said on condition of anonymity: "For several weeks after the demolition and sealing drives began, she remained indifferent to the plight of the people and refused to comment. Later, she made half-baked attempts to rectify it."
BJP state unit president Harsh Vardhan said: "The perception that Dikshit has become callous and indifferent to the needs of the people has grown."