After ruling Delhi for 15 consecutive years, three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today stared at an uncertain political future after she bore the ignominy of losing to fledgling AAP's Arvind Kejriwal in a shock defeat adding to the rout of the ruling Congress.
75-year-old Dikshit's electoral fortunes came crashing in the Delhi Assembly elections billed as a litmus test for Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls next year and which witnessed the first-ever triangular contest. Congress and BJP were the traditional rivals since the first Delhi elections in 1993.
A stung Dikshit--one of the most successful woman politicians--probably could not have expected the scale of drubbing for Congress that came as a bolt from the blue as entry of Aam Aaadmi Party(AAP) altered the political landscape in the national capital.
With Dikshit herself losing from New Delhi at the hands of AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal, the future of the three-time Chief Minister appears to be uncertain.
Dikshit was the lone face of the Congress, except for a few fleeting appearances of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, as she carried the burden of the poll campaign.
She campaigned hard across the city addressing around seven to eight rallies daily to take on formidable BJP which had deployed a battery of star campaigners including its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Apart from extensive campaigning by AAP on the issue of corruption, Dikshit was faced with daunting task of overcoming the unpopular image of her party at the Centre and the under- currents within DPCC where senior leaders were unhappy over her unilateral choice of candidates.
Though she bit the dust, analysts said credit cannot be taken away from Dikshit for ushering in reforms in power sector, e-governance in various departments, series of social security schemes besides significantly enhancing the city's infrastructure during her uninterrupted rule.
On the infrastructure issue, she, however, faced severe criticism ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 due to delays in implementing projects.
The taint of corruption in the CWG projects had reached the doors of her government as Prime Minister-appointed Shunglu Committee, CAG and CVC pointed various alleged irregularities though she strongly refuted them.