Veteran Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit died o Saturday after multiple cardiac arrests. She was 81.
Dikshit was admitted early on Saturday at Delhi’s Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in a “critical condition” after a cardiac arrest, a statement from the hospital said. “She had another cardiac arrest and despite all the resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3:55pm,” the statement added.
Confirming the news, the Congress said on Twitter:
We regret to hear of the passing of Smt 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. pic.twitter.com/oNHy23BpAL— Congress (@INCIndia) July 20, 2019
She was the longest-serving chief minister of Delhi and was in power from 1998 to 2013. She was succeeded by Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Recently, she was appointed the Delhi Congress chief.
She was credited for infrastructure growth in Delhi, the most important of which was the Delhi Metro.
After her stint in Delhi as chief minister, Dikshit was appointed the governor of Kerala but she resigned soon after.
She began her career under the tutelage of her father-in-law, Uma Shankar Dikshit, who was a minister in the Indira Gandhi government.
The news of her death caught politicians from across the spectrum by surprise. 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.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 20, 2019
My condolences to her family & the citizens of Delhi, whom she served selflessly as a 3 term CM, in this time of great grief.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply saddened” by her demise:
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
AAP’s Kejriwal described her death as a “huge loss for Delhi”. “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,” he said.
Kejriwal’s party said on Twitter:
We are deeply saddened by demise of Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit ji. We offer our heartfelt sorrow and condolences to Sheila Ji's family.— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) July 20, 2019
May her soul Rest in peace.
Om Shanti! 💐#SheilaDixit pic.twitter.com/Ya6XNOL4hd
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti was among the first to react to the news:
Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Smt Sheila Dixit. She was one of the tallest leaders in Congress & transformed Delhi in her tenure as CM. My deepest condolences to her family & loved ones.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) July 20, 2019
Tweeple from other walks of life also tweeted: