Sheila Dikshit passes away; news updates: Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who passed away at the age of 81 on Saturday, was cremated on Sunday with full state honours, News18 reported. Leaders across party lines paid their last respects to the three-time chief minister, who is credited with the progress of the national capital since she became chief minister in 1998.
Union minister Amit Shah is likely to attend the funeral of senior Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit at Nigambodh ghat on Sunday, News18 reported.
The Delhi government declared a two-day mourning in the national capital as a mark of respect for former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who passed away on Saturday. Three-term chief minister Dikshit passed away on Saturday afternoon at a private hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 81.
"Delhi govt has decided to observe a two-day state mourning as a mark of respect in the memory of former chief minister and veteran leader Mrs Sheila Dikshit ji. She will be accorded a state funeral," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.
In view of Dikshit's demise, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy cancelled their scheduled trip to the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. "The news of the demise of former chief minister of Delhi, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, is very sad. May God give peace to her soul, and give the family the strength to bear this loss," Sisodia said on Twitter.
Several other political leaders also condoled Dikshit's death. Hailing her as "a politician par excellence", leaders from various parties paid tributes to the former Delhi chief minister on Sunday.
Stating that her contribution to the capital will never be forgotten, National Conference's Omar Abdullah paid respects to the veteran Congress leader at her residence. Joining Abdullah were former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani.
"She was a well-known leader in the nation. I had the good fortune of working alongside her for some time as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. I never saw her lose her cool or treat someone badly, people will never forget what she has done for Delhi. Today when she is no more I pay my tributes on behalf of my father and people from my state. I pray her soul gets peace," Abdullah told reporters.
Dikshit died at 3.55 pm at a hospital in the national capital. She is credited for the national capital's growing infrastructure including roads and flyovers and better public transport system. Politicians cutting across party line have paid tributes to the Congress leader by visiting her residence where her mortal remains were kept, and through their tweets.
CPI lawmaker D Raja and his party colleague Atul Anjan also paid tributes to Dikshit on Sunday. Delhi Archbishop Anil Kuto also arrived at her Nizamuddin residence to pay respects.
The Congress stalwart's mortal remains have been kept at her home in Delhi's Nizamuddin East, and her last rites will take place later today at the Nigam Bodh Ghat.
Dikshit was so far the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi, having served in office for 15 years from 1998. She was appointed Delhi Congress Committee earlier this year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. She contested from North East Delhi but lost to BJP's Manoj Tiwari.