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Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies at 81

Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit died at the age of 81 on Saturday

Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies at 81

NEW DELHI: Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit died at the age of 81 on Saturday. The veteran Congress leader was not keeping well for some time and died of cardiac arrest at the Fortis Escorts Hospital here. 

The former Delhi chief minister was on Saturday morning admitted to the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in a critical condition.

The Fortis Escorts Heart Institute issued a statement in which it said, ''Mrs Sheila Dikshit 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.''

 

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The three-time Delhi chief minister had cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and had to be immediately put on the ventilator, according to the doctors who attended her.

Sheila Dikshit's body will be kept at her house in Nizamuddin, New Delhi so that her supporters and well-wishers can pay their tributes. Her last rites will be performed at 2.30 PM at Nigam Bodh Ghat on Sunday.

Sheila Dikshit's last rites to take place on Sunday

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced a two-day state mourning as a mark of respect to the departed former chief minister of Delhi.

Top Congress leadership, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, arrived to pay tribute to the former Delhi chief minister at her residence in Nizamuddin. BJP leader Vijay Goel was also among those who paid tribute to the late Congress politician. A large number of Congres party workers have gathered outside Dikshit's residence and are shouting 'long live Sheila Dikshit,' Sheila Dikshit Zindabad' slogans.   

Several top political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, mourned the passing away of the maverick politician and expressed their deepest condolences to her family.

President Kovind, PM Modi, Arvind Kejriwal mourn Sheila Dikshit's death 

Delhi Congress leader Haroon Yusuf was first among the political leaders to confirm her demise.

Expressing grief over her death, Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said, "She (Sheila Ji) was loved and admired by all...she did a lot for water conservation, her ideology will be taken forward by the party. Acted as a backbone to Gandhi-Nehru family. Rahul Gandhi also respected her a lot.''

In his condolence message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, ''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."  

Along with his tweet, the PM also shared an old picture of him with the veteran Congress leader.  

 

The Indian National Congress said, ''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."   

 

In his immediate reaction to her demise, Rahul Gandhi said that he was ''devastated'' to hear about the passing away of Sheila Dikshit Ji. He described her as a ''beloved daughter of the Congress 'party'' with whom he shared a close personal bond.

Beloved daughter of Congress: Rahul Gandhi's tribute to Sheila Dikshit 

President Ramnath Kovind also expressed grief over the demise of three-time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit. 

 

Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed his condolences for the family members of Sheila Dikshit.

 

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal said, ''Just now got to know about the extremely terrible news about the passing away of 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.''

Sheila Dikshit: Maverick Congress politician who fought till the end

Known for her powerful organisational skills, Sheila Dikshit had recently contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Delhi's North East Delhi constituency and lost to actor-turned-politician and BJP candidate Manoj Tiwari by a margin of over 3 lakh votes.

In Sheila Dikshit's death, I have lost a long-time friend, colleague: Pranab Mukherjee

Dikshit was also the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi, having served in office for 15 years from 1998.

The 81-year-old politician was appointed as the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee earlier this year in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Born in Punjab's Kapurthala, Dikshit was credited with numerous people-friendly programmes during her tenure as Delhi's chief minister.