Sheila Dikshit, former Delhi chief minister, passes away at 81

A host of political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, condoled the demise of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Senior Congress leader and three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday at a hospital in New Delhi after suffering a cardiac arrest. Dikshit, 81, was brought to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in a “critical condition with cardiac arrest”, a statement from the hospital said. She breathed her last at 3.55 pm at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in Okhla.

“Sheila Dixit was brought in the morning on 20th July 2019 to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla, New Delhi, in a critical condition with cardiac arrest. 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 3:55 pm on 20th of July 2019,” a statement from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute stated. Follow LIVE Updates here

Dikshit, who served as the chief minister of Delhi for three consecutive terms between 1998 to 2013, was recently appointed as the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC). Ever since she took over the post, speculations over her health did the rounds within the party circles. In August last year, Dikshit underwent an aortic valve replacement surgery in France.

A host of political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, BJP’s Manoj Tiwari condoled the demise of Dikshit. Taking to Twitter, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “I’m devastated to hear about the passing away of Shiela Dikshit Ji, a beloved daughter of the Congress Party, with whom I shared a close personal bond.” The Congress also tweeted, “We regret to hear of the passing of Smt Sheila Dikshit. Lifelong congresswoman and as three-time CM of Delhi she transformed the face of Delhi. Our condolences to her family and friends. Hope they find strength in this time of grief.”

PM Modi also expressed condolences saying, “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.”

President Ramnath Kovind said, “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.”

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said, “I am shocked to hear the sudden passing away of Smt Shiela Dixit. In her death the country has lost a dedicated Congress Leader of the masses. People of Delhi will always remember her contribution to the development during her three tenure as Chief Minister of Delhi.”

BJP MP and BJP Delhi President Manoj Tiwari said, “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.”

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra credited Dikshit for contributing immensely for the development of Delhi and the party. “Deeply saddened by the demise of Sheila Dikshit Ji. 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 the nation and especially to Delhi, is immense,” said Priyanka.

Credited for transforming the face of Delhi during her 15-year-old tenure, Dikshit played a major role in making the capital’s transport CNG-driven.

A close associate of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and a minister in his cabinet, Dikshit became an MP for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. Just before this year’s Lok Sabha elections, Congress brought back Dikshit into active politics, who was serving as the governor of Kerala at that time. She replaced former Union minister Ajay Maken to steer the Congress in the national capital. However, she lost to BJP’s Delhi president Manoj Tiwari from the North East Delhi constituency.

(With ENS inputs)

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