Sheila Dikshit clarifies comment on Manmohan Singh, says it was used out of context
Leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) thanked Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit , while members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) attacked her for purportedly saying in a TV interview on Thursday that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “wasn’t as strong or as determined” as PM Narendra Modi in responding to terror attacks.
Dikshit later tweeted that her comments had been taken out of context by the media. “Here is what I said — it may seem to some people that Mr Modi is stronger on terror but I think this is a poll gimmick more than anything else,” she tweeted. She further added that national security has always been a concern and that “Indira ji [Indira Gandhi] has been a strong leader.”
BJP chief Amit Shah thanked the three-time Delhi chief minister for admitting what the Congress was “never ready to admit”. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand, slammed her and alleged that the Congress had a secret understanding with the BJP.
In an interview to be aired on CNN News 18, excerpts of which were released on Thursday, Dikshit was asked about the criticism that the UPA government did not do much after the Mumbai terror attack in 2008. To this, she purportedly said: “Manmohan Singh’s… yes, I agree with you wasn’t as strong or as determined as he [Modi] is perhaps but then there is also the feeling that he is doing all for politics, not that he wants to, not out of the sense of…”.
Soon after the excerpts of the interview were released, Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi: “This statement of Sheila Dikshit ji is extremely shocking. It appears that something is cooking between the BJP and the Congress.”
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that the AAP has been saying “since the beginning that this time, the Congress is working to make Modi ji the Prime Minister again.”
The AAP later said in a statement that over the years, depending on their convenience and according to time and situation, the BJP and Congress have not hesitated to come together.
“Delhi is one of the prime examples that witnessed this phenomenon many times during the last four years, when the Congress did not hesitate even for a moment to join hands with the BJP. Delhi Congress unit, during the last four years, left no stone unturned in joining hands with the BJP to stall public welfare policies of the elected Delhi government,” the AAP statement read.
Dikshit has openly expressed her opposition to a tie-up in Delhi between the AAP and the Congress though several senior leaders from both parties have been asking for a pact to prevent the split of anti-BJP votes.