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Sheila gives best wishes to AAP, but says Cong support not unconditional

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 23, 2013
First Published: 14:57 IST(23/12/2013) | Last Updated: 15:02 IST(23/12/2013)

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday gave her "best wishes" to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which will form the next government in the Capital, but said the Congress’ support to the rookie party was not unconditional.

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"Our best wishes to them... We are extending outside support. It is not unconditional. If they can provide relief to the people of Delhi, it is well and good," Dikshit, a three-time chief minister and a Congress leader, said.

"We will support them as long they deliver," she added.

Besides declaring a war against corruption, the AAP had promised to cut power tariff by 50% and provide 700 litres of free water daily to each household during campaigning.

The AAP won 28 seats in the 70-member assembly and will take the support of eight Congress legislators to form the government.

"We know the promises (they made) are difficult to fulfill," said Dikshit, who was defeated by AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi constituency by over 25,000 votes.

Before the Delhi assembly elections on December 4, Dikshit had maintained the AAP was no challenge to the Congress.

"I think they are not serious players. A political party does not evolve by just making announcements. The AAP does not even know how the system works," she had said.

Even after the drubbing in the hands of the BJP (32 seats) and the rookie AAP, Dikshit appeared upbeat on the Congress’ prospects.

With the results throwing up a hung verdict and speculations of fresh polls doing the rounds, Dikshit had said, "It seems the apprehension (of a fresh election) is going to be reality as ... instability is hovering over the city. I am confident that the Congress will bounce back as we did every time we lagged behind."

She had also criticised the AAP and the BJP for "running away from their responsibilities of government formation".

(With Agency inputs)

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