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Sheila Dikshit passes away

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 20, 2019 Published on July 20, 2019

Three-term Chief Minister of Delhi and president of the state unit of the Congress, Sheila Dikshit, passed away here on Saturday. She was under treatment for heart ailments at a private hospital here. Dikshit, who was 81, had also served as the Governor of Kerala. She is survived by a son and a daughter.

Considered close to the Nehru-Gandhi family, Dikshit was born in Kapurthala. She got married to Vinod Dikshit, a civil servant and son of Uma Shankar Diskhit, a freedom fighter and politician. She started her political career as an MP from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh in 1984.

In 1998, when the Congress was undergoing several changes at the helm, she was elected Chief Minister of Delhi. She continued in the post till 2013. Haunted by charges of corruption, particularly after the CAG report on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she lost to the Aam Aadmi Party in 2013 and later in the 2015 elections.

Ahead of the recently held Lok Sabha polls, she was brought back by the Congress as state unit chief. She unsuccessfully contested as the party’s candidate from the North East Delhi constituency. Though the Congress could not win a single seat, the party improved its performance by coming second in all the seven constituencies.

“We regret to hear of the passing of 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,” an official message from the Congress said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is 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. Om Shanti,” he said in Twitter.

Published on July 20, 2019
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