Former Delhi Chief Minister and Senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit breathed her last on Saturday following two cardiac arrests at Escorts hospital. She was 81.
She was arguably Congress’ most popular leader of the national capital whose demise was condoled by President, Vice-President, and the Prime Minister as well.
As Delhi’s second woman Chief Minister, Dikshit served the city between 1998 and 2013.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Prime Minster Narendra Modi led the nation in expressing bereavement.
Sad to hear of the passing of Smt Sheila Dikshit, former Chief Minister of Delhi and a senior political figure. 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 #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) July 20, 2019
BJP MP & BJP Delhi President, Manoj Tiwari: I had met her recently, it is a big shock. I remember how she welcomed me like a mother. Delhi will miss her. May God give her family and her closed ones the strength to bear this loss. #sheiladixit pic.twitter.com/nqOmU2lQ0I
— ANI (@ANI) July 20, 2019
दिल्ली की पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री और वरिष्ठ नेता श्रीमती शीला दीक्षित जी के निधन पर शोक व्यक्त करता हूं। शीला जी सफल और लोकप्रिय नेता थीं जिनके लिए सभी के हृदय में आदर था। ईश्वर से प्रार्थना करता हूं कि पुण्यात्मा को आशीर्वाद दें। #SheilaDikshit pic.twitter.com/H1Q9tXF5in
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) July 20, 2019
Deeply saddened by the demise of Sheila Dikshit Ji. Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/jERrvJlQ4X
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2019
Having served as Delhi’s chief minister for three consecutive terms, Dikshit is remembered as a leader who actually made the capital the new-age cosmopolitan look with dozens of flyovers and various innovative approaches to tackle multiple challenges of the city resided by over 1.5 crore people.
A strong opponent of Delhi’s former chief minister Madan Lal Khurana, who used to call her sister but political opponent, she was also considered as an irony lady who tackled internal fights of Delhi Congress Unit quite smartly, not letting anyone raise his or her head crisscrossing party discipline.
She also remained a member of the parliamentary party of the Congress party and one of the close aides of Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Just for months ahead of parliamentary elections, she was again given the charge of Delhi Congress. Though the party couldn’t win any of the seven seats due to Modi wave, her presence did help the party hit by AAP’s presence managed to increased its vote share while leaving AAP behind it.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee also expressed sorrow on her death.
I am saddened and shocked at the passing away of Smt Sheila Dikshit. A former Union Minister, 3 time CM and Governor, in her death I have lost a long time friend and colleague. My thoughts are with her aggrieved family and friends. pic.twitter.com/ol2QtoddFy
— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) July 20, 2019
Rahul Gandhi also condoled her death, saying he was devastated to know about her demise.
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.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 20, 2019
Among other leaders who were saddened by her death was Union Home Minister and Senior BJP leader Amit Shah.
दिल्ली की पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री श्रीमती शीला दीक्षित जी के निधन से अत्यंत दुखी हूँ। मैं उनके परिजनों और समर्थकों के प्रति अपनी संवेदना व्यक्त करता हूँ। ईश्वर दु:ख की इस घड़ी में उनके परिवार को शक्ति दे और दिवंगत आत्मा को चिर शांति प्रदान करे ।
ॐ शांति शांति शांति
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 20, 2019
"I have spent about 20-22 years in politics. Now, I am devoting more time towards writing, family & friends. Before I die, I can easily say that I was a politician, Chief Minister and an author.", #SheilaDixit had said at #SheLeadsIndia #RIPhttps://t.co/p5D7SjCFqI pic.twitter.com/P2O6YhrAvp
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeople) July 20, 2019
Sad to hear about the passing away of #SheilaDixit ji. Heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 20, 2019
Known for being the masses leader, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who ousted her from power in Assembly elections, said it was “a huge loss for Delhi and her contribution will always be remembered”.
Just now got to know about the extremely terrible news about the passing away of Mrs Sheila Dikshit ji. 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
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 20, 2019
Expressing his sorrow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Dikshit had a close relation with Uttar Pradesh and played an important role in the Delhi’s development.