Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit passes away at 81

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Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit passes away at 81

Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday. She was 81. She was the president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee and was the longest-serving Chief Minister of New Delhi, from 1998 to 2013. She had been unwell for a few months but was active in politics.

She was rushed to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute on Saturday in a critical state and she passed away at around 4 pm after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Fortis Escorts Heart Institute released a statement after her demise: "Mrs. 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 3:55pm on 20th of July 2019."

According to a report in Livemint, Dikshit had been undergoing treatment at Delhi’s Fortis Escorts hospital for the past few years. She had undergone an angioplasty in November 2012 and was also treated for an infection some time ago.

The official handle of the Congress party has condoled the death of the senior Congress leader. 

“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,” the Congress said on Twitter. 

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condole her death. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also one of those who expressed sorrow at her death

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. 

Sheila Dikshit's last rites will be held at the Nigambodh Ghat on Sunday. Her mortal remains will be kept for people to pay tributes at her residence in Nizamuddin till 11.30 a.m on 21st July.

Sheila Dikshit was appointed as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee in January after Ajay Maken stepped down from the post citing health reasons. In the recently held Lok Sabha elections, Dikshit contested the polls from the North East Delhi seat but had to concede defeat to Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who had won with a margin of over 3.66 lakh votes. 

Sheila Dikshit has been credited with changing the face of the capital of India. After her term as CM concluded, Sheila Dikshit was appointed as the Kerala Governor in March 2014, just before the Model Code of Conduct was put in place for the 16th Lok Sabha elections. Five months later, in August 2014, she resigned from her post to go back to her role in the Delhi Congress.

She was born Sheila Kapoor in March 1938, in Kapurthala, Punjab. She was an Arts graduate from Miranda House at the University of Delhi. She was considered close to the Gandhi family.