Delhi Congress chief and former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit died on Saturday, July 20. Sheila Dikshit, not Sheila Dixit as she was popularly misspelt, was 81 and was chief minister of the National Capital Territory for 3 terms from 1998 to 2013. She had been bedridden and in hospital for a heart ailment since late June, said reports. The death was said to have been caused by cardiac arrest. After the mishappening, the national capital will observe 2-day mourning.
A key leader of Delhi, Dikshit was considered an outsider to the capital when she took over the reins of the city soon after Sonia Gandhi took charge of the Congress. The daughter-in-law of the Uttar Pradesh Congress political dynasty of Uma Shankar Dikshit, she was married to his son Vinod Dikshit. Sheila Dikshit is survived by her son Sandeep Dikshit who was East Delhi MP.
Delhi, which had been the seat of the BJP, had rebuffed the Congress several times earlier but Sheila Dikshit was able to use her earthy yet suave image to canvass votes for the party. The Congress had won the 1998 election to the Delhi Assembly in the aftermath of the onion crisis which saw the daily commodity cost astronomical prices under the BJP governments of Sahib Singh Verma and Madan Lal Khurana.
Sheila Dikshit is credited with developing the city with the flyovers that now dot almost every part of the city and have cut the travel time to move across the city, infamous for its chakka jams. The shining-Delhi Metro is also a byproduct of the Centre-Delhi’s good ties under Dikshit’s terms during both the Vajpayee and the Manmohan Singh years.
The Bus Rapid Trasport (BRT) corridor was one of her government’s ideas which did not interest the people of Delhi, who instead of praising the move, criticized it for changing the bus lane in these thoroughfares Dikshit lost the 2013 elections to the Aam Aadmi Party, which quickly mushroomed as an offshoot of the Anna Hazare movement of 2011 and became a political outfit. The next year’s December 16 gangrape and subsequent death of a physiotherapy student was the last straw that broke her winning streak as thousands turned against the Congress for what they saw as lax law and order situation in the country. In the general drowning of the Congress-led UPA, the AAP victory in 2015 ensured there was no sitting Congress member in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha.
Dikshit made a comeback of sorts ahead of the Lok Sabha 2019 polls when she turned up to head the Delhi party unit. It is believed that the Congress attempts to tie up with AAP for the Lok Sabha polls could not come through because of her loyalists’ stance.
Here are the latest reactions on Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit’s death:
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while talking to the media, said, it’s a great loss for the country & Congress party. Delhi has lost an outstanding leader & administrator who transformed the state beyond recognition.
Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore also visited the Dikshit residence in Delhi’s Nizamuddin to pay homage to former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. She was 81-years-old and passed away today in Escorts hospital due to cardiac arrest.
Sheila Dikshit Death: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said she was counted among the most seasoned politicians of the country.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on the death of Sheila Dikshit said that people of the national capital will miss her lot, she had worked a lot for Delhi. Even though he was from the opposition party, whenever she met her she showed a lot of love. Delhi CM also prayed that may God give peace to her soul & strength to her family at this tough time.
Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit said that his mother passed away in a natural manner. The pain of this loss cannot be erased.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to former CM Sheila Dikshit who passed away today at the age of 81. PM Modi met with her son Sandeep Dikshit and daughter Latika Dikshit Syed.
Union Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, in a tweet, said, condolences and support to Dikshit family. He also prayed for former CM Sheila Dikshit’s soul to rest in peace.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also visited Dikshit house to pay tribute to former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. She was in office for 3 terms and was known as the mother of modern Delhi.
UPA president Sonia Gandhi paid tribute to former Delhi Chief Minister at Dikshit residence at Delhi’s Nizamuddin. She extended her condolences to the daughter of Sheila Dikshit, Latika Dikshit Sye
Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia told the media that 2-day mourning has been announced in the national capital over former CM Sheila Dikshit’s death.
As per the reports, last rites of former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit will be held at Nigambodh Ghat tomorrow at around 1 pm. Her mortal remains will be kept for people to pay tributes at her residence in Nizamuddin till 11.30 am tomorrow, July 21.
Visuals from Sheila Dikshit’s residence. BJP leader Vijay Goel and other politicians arrive at Dikshit residence in Nizamuddin to pay tribute to former CM Sheila Dikshit who passed away today.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a tweet said, in this saddening time, he prays for Dikshit family and may former Delhi CM’s soul rest in peace.
Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi said that he is devastated to hear about her death. He said that he had a good and personal bond with her.
Union Minister General VK Singh shared grief on Twitter. He stated that the demise of Former Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit is saddening. She had contributed alot in the development of Delhi. He also prayed for the family and soul of Shiela Diksh
Cricketer Virendra Sehwag extended condolences to the Dikshit family and said that he is feeling sad after hearing the news of her demise.
President Ramnath Kovind on Twitter said that he is feeling sad after hearing about the death of former Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra shared condolences with the family of former CM Sheila Dikshit through a tweet. In his tweet, PM Modi said, Sheila Dikshit made a big contribution to Delhi’s development.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who had succeeded Sheila Dikshit in 2013 also expressed grief. In a tweet, Aam Aadmi Party Supremo said that the news of Sheila Dikshit’s death is extremely terrible.