Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passes away at 81

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit passes away at 81 | HW English

Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday.

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. Her condition stabilised temporarily. Ashok Seth, chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart institute had advised that the procedure be performed at University Hospital in Lille, France under the care of Dr Thomas Modine.

Former India cricketer and now BJP MP from Delhi, Gautam Gambhir too wrote on Twitter calling Dikshit a true champion of people. Some would remember her for her last election defeat, but many would remember her contribution to Delhi. My heartfelt condolences to her family members. She was 81 years old.

In all her interactions, she brought with her Punjabi guts - as she was born as Sheila Kapoor in 1938 in Kapurthala-, style of being a Delhi girl - she graduated from Miranda House - and an awareness of statecraft that she got from her husband Vinod Dikshit who was an IAS officer who died early and that of her father-in-law Uma Shankar Dikshit who increasingly relied on her in his later life to channel his political activities.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, whom she was considered particularly close to, took to Twitter to state that he was devastated to hear the news of her passing. "However, she had another cardiac arrest and despite all the resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3:55pm on July 20, 2019", it said.

She unsuccessfully fought the recent Lok Sabha elections from the North-East Delhi constituency. "Condolences to her family and associates". She had also slipped into a coma.

Rahul's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke to ANI about how Dikshit contributed towards party, politics of nation and especially to Delhi. It was this bond which allowed her to continue in the post of chief minister of Delhi for so long. The Commonwealth Games became a spot on her untarnished career and created a vibrant atmosphere for an outsider like Arvind Kejriwal to oust her from her sparkling three-term tenure as the Delhi CM. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said the country has lost a dedicated Congress leader of the masses.

Dikshit was also projected as the party's chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh before Congress allied with Samajwadi Party ahead of last assembly polls.

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