Delhi's longest-serving chief minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.
She was admitted to the Escorts Hospital in Delhi a few days ago, she suffered a cardiac arrest and breathed her last around 3.55 pm.
The three-time chief minister galvanised the Congress party unit in Delhi, ruling uncontested from 1998-2013. She served as a parliamentarian from the Kannauj constituency from 1984-1989 and also served as a Union minister from 1986-1989. Dikshit represented the Gole Market assembly from 1988-2003 and the New Delhi parliamentary constituency seat in 2008.
Despite her advancing age, Sheila Dikshit led the party in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and herself contested against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari from the north East Delhi seat. She lost by 366,000 votes.
Party leaders cutting across party lines reacted to the demise of the veteran politician. Here are a few of them:
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. pic.twitter.com/jERrvJlQ4X— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2019
A number politicians, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, National Conference's Omar Abdullah, Peoples Democratic Patry's Mehbooba Mufti expressed their grief and offered their condolences.
President Ram Nath Kovind extended his condolences to the family of the Congress leader and this is what he tweeted:
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 #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) July 20, 2019
Here is what Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted:
Just now got to know about the extremely terrible news about the passing away of Mrs 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— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 20, 2019
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also expressed his shock at the sudden demise. "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 of Delhi during her tenure as Chief Minister".
Here is what Rahul Gandhi tweeted:
I’m devastated to hear about the passing away of Sheila Dikshit Ji, a beloved daughter of the Congress Party, with whom I shared a close personal bond. My condolences to her family & the citizens of Delhi, whom she served selflessly as a 3 term CM, in this time of great grief.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 20, 2019
Congress leader Ajay Maken said it's hard for him to believe that its hard to belive that his mentor and mother-like figure Sheila Dikshit is no more. He also thanked the former chief minister for grooming him as a young politician.
Assam's minister Himanta Biswa Sarma offered his condolences and tweeted this:
I am deeply anguished to learn of the demise of Smt #SheilaDikshit.
A woman so full of humility and charm, all my career I looked upto her and drew inspiration. She brought that rare calmness to the turbulent world of politics! It's a painful loss. I am sad! pic.twitter.com/he2fueYFPO— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 20, 2019
Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj in her tribute to Sheila Dikshit said, "Opponents in politics but friends in personal life."
I am sorry to know about the sudden demise of Sheila Dixit ji. We were opponents in politics but friends in personal life. She was a fine human being. #SheilaDixit— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 20, 2019
Congress leader Sachin Pilot paid his tribute to the former chief minister of the national capital. He said, Sheila Dikshit " worked tirelessly" for making Delhi a "world class city"
Saddened to hear that Smt Sheila Dikshit has passed away, a true congressperson she worked tirelessly building Delhi into a world class city, yet her heart was always set on working for the people, a loss for India, my condolences to the family & prayers for the departed soul pic.twitter.com/FCugKnMAvN— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) July 20, 2019
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee also offered her condolences. She tweeted:
Union Minister Rajnath Singh also extended his condolences on the micro-blogging site:
Deeply saddened at the passing of Sheila Dikshit Ji. When I became MP, she was the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. She always maintained good relations with me. We will all really miss her— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 20, 2019
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Sheila Dikshit's contribution to the development of Delhi will always be remembered
The passing away of former Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dixit is deeply saddening. She was a tall Congress leader known for her congenial nature. Sheilaji was widely respected cutting across party lines. My thoughts are with her bereaved family & supporters. Om Shanti!— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 20, 2019
दिल्ली की पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री और काँग्रेस की वरिष्ठ नेता श्रीमती शिला दीक्षित जी के देहांत की खबर सुनकर व्यथित हूं। दिल्ली के विकास में उनका योगदान हमेशा याद रखा जाएगा। उनके परिजनों के प्रति मेरी संवेदनाएं हैं। भगवान शीला जी की दिवंगत आत्मा को शांति दे। ॐ शांतिः।— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) July 20, 2019