Three-time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit Dead, Tributes Pour in from Across Party Lines

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Senior Congress leader and Delhi’s longest-serving chief minister Sheila Dikshit died on Saturday. — File photo

Delhi govt decided to declare 2-day state mourning over the demise of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — Veteran Congress leader and Delhi’s longest-serving chief minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday at a private hospital here following cardiac arrest. She was 81.

Dikshit was admitted to the Escorts Hospital in the national capital, her family and the party said after she suffered cardiac arrest.

According to the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Dikshit, who was Chief Minister for three consecutive terms (1998-2013), suffered cardiac arrest and was brought to the hospital on Saturday morning in a critical condition.

A multi-disciplinary team of doctors carried out advanced resuscitative measures on her, it said.

“Her condition stabilised temporarily. However, she had another cardiac arrest and despite all the resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3.55 p.m.,” the hospital added.

Credited for Delhi’s growing infrastructure including roads and flyovers, better public transport system – especially the Delhi Metro, as well as development on the health and educational fronts, during her tenure, Dikshit had also been Kerala Governor briefly in 2014.

Heading the Congress’ Delhi unit since January this year, she had also contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls unsuccessfully.

Leaders from across the political spectrum paid her tributes for her contribution to Delhi’s development.

President Ram Nath Kovind condoled her demise, saying she had transformed the national capital in her tenure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also credited her with noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development.

“Deeply saddened by the demise of Sheila Dikshit. Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters,” Modi tweeted.

Former Congress President and UPA Chirperson Sonia Gandhi also paid her tributes to late Sheila Dikshit at her residence here.

Gandhi, who spent around five minutes at Sheila Dikshit’s residence, met the deceased’s sister Rama Dikshit and expressed her condolences.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was devastated by the death of Dikshit whom he called a beloved daughter of the party.

Condoling the demise of the senior Congress leader, Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Sad over the demise of former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. My heartfelt condolences to the family members and her supporters. May god give strength to her family in this hour of grief and lasting peace to the departed soul.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: “The passing away of former Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt Sheila Dixit is deeply saddening. She was a tall Congress leader known for her congenial nature. Sheilaji was widely respected cutting across party lines. My thoughts are with her bereaved family & supporters. Om Shanti!”

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said, “Saddened to hear the news about the demise of former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit. Her contributions in the development of Delhi will always be remembered. My condolences to the family. May her soul rest in peace.”

Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “I am sorry to know about the sudden demise of Sheila Dikshitji. We were opponents in politics but friends in personal life. She was a fine human being.”

Veteran CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “Deepest condolences on the death of Mrs Sheila Dikshit. She has made a tremendous contribution to the city of Delhi and millions of its people. Her absence will be deeply felt. Personally too, it is a very sad day.”

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said, “Saddened over the demise of senior Congress leader Sheila Dikhsit. She was loved and respected by all the parties. May god give strength to the family in this hour of grief and peace to the departed soul.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Deeply saddened at the passing away of Sheila Dikshitji. When I became the MP, she was the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. She always maintained good relations with me. We will all really miss her.”

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she was deeply saddened by Dikshit’s demise. “She loved me, whatever she did for Delhi and the country, people will remember it. She was a big leader of the party, her contribution towards the party, politics of nation and especially Delhi, is immense,” she said.

While National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM called her an affectionate lady, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said Dikshit was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday mourned the death of his predecessor, saying Dikshit’s contribution to the city will always be remembered.

Delhi government has decided to declare 2-day state mourning over the demise of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, says Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

(With media inputs)

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