Sheila Dikshit, three-time Delhi chief minister and Congress leader, passes away at 81 after suffering cardiac arrest

  • Sheila Dikshit was brought to the hospital Saturday morning in a 'critical condition with cardiac arrest'.

  • The Delhi government declared a two-day mourning in the national capital as a mark of respect for Dikshit.

  • Dikshit was president of Delhi Congress. She served as Delhi's chief minister for 15 years from 1998 to 2013.

Three-time Delhi chief minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday afternoon at a private hospital in New Delhi after suffering a cardiac arrest, doctors said. She was 81.

Dikshit breathed her last at 3.55 pm at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

She was brought to the hospital Saturday morning in a "critical condition with cardiac arrest", a Fortis Escorts statement said.

"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 July 20, 2019," it said.

The Delhi government declared a two-day mourning in the national capital as a mark of respect for Dikshit.

"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 Dikshitji. She will be accorded a state funeral," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.

 Sheila Dikshit, three-time Delhi chief minister and Congress leader, passes away at 81 after suffering cardiac arrest

File image of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. PTI

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 Delhi unit of the Congress said that her body has been kept at her Nizamuddin East residence and the last rites would be performed on Sunday at the Nigambodh ghat.

Dikshit was president of Delhi Congress. She served as Delhi's chief minister for 15 years from 1998 to 2013.

Known as a warm and affable politician, Dikshit carried out massive infrastructure development of Delhi during her tenure. She also launched a number of social welfare schemes with involvement of resident welfare associations as part of her participatory model of governance.

An able administrator, Dikshit could get along well with politicians from all parties for which she drew widespread respect.

She unsuccessfully fought the recent Lok Sabha elections from the North-East Delhi constituency. She represented New Delhi constituency in Delhi Vidhan Sabha.

Dikshit became an MP for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 1984. She was also a close associate of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and a minister in his cabinet. She also served as governor of Kerala.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal were among those who condoled her death.

Kovind said Dikshit's term in office was a period of momentous transformation for the capital for which she will be remembered.

Naidu termed her a good administrator.

Condoling the demise of Dikshit, Modi said she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi's development.

"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," he tweeted.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he was devastated to hear the news.

He called her a "beloved daughter of the Congress Party, with whom I shared a close personal bond".

He said she served "selflessly as a three-term chief minister".

Kejriwal said Dikshit's death is a huge loss for Delhi and her contribution will always be remembered.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said the country has lost a dedicated Congress leader of the masses.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 20, 2019 21:46:22 IST