Sheila Dikshit, the longest-serving chief minister of Delhi, passed away at a private hospital in the national capital following a cardiac arrest on Saturday, a family member confirmed to The Indian Express. She was 81.
The Congress stalwart had not been feeling well and was rushed to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in the morning. Later, she slipped into coma following which she passed away, the family member said. Her mortal remains will be kept at her Nizamuddin residence till 11.30 am on Sunday for people to pay tributes, and will then be taken to Nigambodh Ghat for cremation at 2.30 pm. The Delhi government has decided to declare a two-day state mourning, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. A host of political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, have condoled the demise of Dikshit. Read in Bangla and Malayalam
Widely credited for transforming the face of Delhi, Dikshit was at the helm of Delhi affairs for 15 years from 1998 to 2013. She also served as the governor of Kerala. 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. Among her notable achievements are fastening the flagship Delhi Metro project, overseeing the creation of a network of flyovers, initiating green reforms in the public transport sector, and phasing out the killer blue line buses. In the run-up to the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, Dikshit was made Delhi Congress chief and was entrusted with the task of reversing Congress’ fortunes in the capital. However, she lost the North East seat to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari and the party drew a drubbing.