Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit on Sunday recalled the "painful time" when Congress dissidents and sections of the party high command were attacking her, but said that she has "almost blind faith" in the party President Sonia Gandhi.
'It was a painful time and I decided that let us not react to it. So I took it in my stride and I said all right, what will be, will be,' she told NDTV in a candid interview.
Dikshit, who led the party to a morale-boosting and an unprecedented third term in office, was answering a question about her detractors in the party, who had been sniping at her before her triumph in the recent assembly polls.
Asked whether it was particularly painful to see senior party leaders backing the dissidence, she replied, 'Yes it was painful and I thought everybody was misunderstanding me. This is part of politics. I have seen it happening over so many years. It did not come as a surprise.'
Answering a question about her relationship with Gandhi, who lavished praise on her a few days ago, the Chief Minister said, 'That was very, very kind of her. She is normally very reticent about both criticism and praise. I really felt very touched because for me she is the leader of the party.'
To a question whether she had disagreements with Gandhi, Dikshit replied, 'I would not say disagreements -- points of view, you see. She gets so much information and mine is not the last information.'
She said that 'when it comes to the crunch', the Congress President takes the right decision. 'And I have enormous faith in her, almost blind faith, you know.'
Answering questions on the entry of Priyanka Gandhi into politics, Dikshit said it will be a turning point for the Congress, which will welcome her with "more than open arms".
'Yes, of course, it will be, of course, it will be. The day she decides, I think there will be great joy and happiness. It's her reluctance and her own reasons. But the party will welcome her with more than open arms.'
'And I think if you compare the brother and sister, they kind of balance each other out. She comes out, he's a little cautious. But he's also learning and he's truthful.'
Dikshit said Priyanka was very charismatic and also very natural. She was not one of those who said something meant something else. She was really cautious.
"So she has got a lot of potential and if ever she wants to take in, I'm sure the people will love it because she comes across as a normal person spoke from the heart. So those are qualities which I think people look for in leaders.'
Asked about her assessment of Rahul as a potential Prime Minister in future and whether he was ready, Dikshit said: 'Look, he himself has said, he's working extremely hard and he's moving around the whole country getting the grasp of what this country is all about.
Dikshit said if one looked at Rahul of 2 or 3 years ago he was now much more confident and knowledgeable about the country.
'He's making the right sounds and so it's difficult to say the future, he will make his own future and the party would very, very much behind him.'