Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 | Last Update : 12:57 AM IST

Veteran Congress leader and 3-time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit passes away

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY KAW
Published : Jul 21, 2019, 6:57 am IST
Updated : Jul 21, 2019, 6:57 am IST

Dikshit’s body was taken to her East Nizamuddin home where a large number of eminent politicians from different parties paid tributes to her.

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. (Photo: Sondeep Shankar)
 Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. (Photo: Sondeep Shankar)

New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, the longest serving chief minister of Delhi, died of a cardiac arrest in the national capital on Saturday, marking the end of an era in Delhi politics. She was 81.

Ms Dikshit, who was admitted to Escorts hospital on Saturday morning, died at 3.55 pm. “A multi-disciplinary team of doctors, led by Dr Ashok Seth, chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, carried out the advanced resuscitative measures. Her condition stabilised temporarily. However, she had another cardiac arrest and despite all the resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3:55pm on 20th of July 2019,” Fortis said in a statement.

Ms Dikshit’s body was taken to her East Nizamuddin home where a large number of eminent politicians from different parties paid tributes to her. The veteran leader’s body will be taken to 24, Akbar Road, Congress Headquarters at 11.30 am on Sunday where people can pay their last tributes to the departed soul.  Her last rites will be performed at about 2.30 pm at Nigambodh Ghat.

The veteran leader took over as Delhi Congress chief in January, ahead of the national elections. She had contested the Lok Sabha elections from North East Delhi constituency, but lost to Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.

Cutting across party lines, senior political leaders paid tributes to her at her Nizamuudin residence. Among the one’s who paid tributes to her were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel.

Condoning her death, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he was devastated. “I’m devastated to hear about the passing away of Sheila Dikshit Ji, a beloved daughter of the Congress Party, with whom I shared a close personal bond. My condolences to her family & the citizens of Delhi, whom she served selflessly as a 3 term CM, in this time of great grief,” he tweeted.

Mr Modi said he was deeply saddened by the death of Ms Dikshit. He said she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. “Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti,” the PM  tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind also offered his condolences. He said her term in office was a period of momentous transformation for the capital for which she will be remembered. “Her term in office was a period of momentous transformation for the capital for which she will be remembered. Condolences to her family and associates,” he tweeted. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the country has lost a dedicated Congress leader of the masses.

Ms  Dikshit had served as Delhi’s chief minister for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013. She was succeeded by Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. “Sheila Dikshit’s contribution to Delhi will always be remembered. It is a huge loss for Delhi and her contribution will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to her family members. May her soul rest in peace,” the Delhi CM tweeted.

After her stint as Delhi chief minister, Ms Dikshit was sworn in as Kerala’s governor during the tenure of Dr Manmohan Singh in 2014. But she resigned in just six months after Mr Modi replaced Dr Singh.

Ms Dikshit started off as a reluctant politician, assisting her father-in-law, veteran Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Uma Shankar Dikshit, who was a minister in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet. She became a MP for the first time from the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 1984. She was a close associate of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and a minister in his Cabinet.

Born in Punjab’s Kapurthala, Sheila Dikshit was credited for launching numerous people-friendly programmes in the national capital. Her son Sandeep is also a Congress leader, who was a parliamentarian from Delhi.

Tags: sheila dikshit, manoj tiwari, narendra modi
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi