Sheila Dikshit: the longest serving chief minister of Delhi
Former Delhi Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday (July 20, 2019). She was 81. The veteran leader was admitted to a Delhi hospital at around 10.30 AM today. She died at 3.30 PM while undergoing treatment.
Dikshit is the longest-serving chief minister of Delhi for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2013. She was also the Governor of Kerala for a shorter stint. She was sworn-in on March 11, 2014, and she resigned on August 25 the same year.
Dikshit is credited with making Delhi a modern city. She incessantly upgraded the civic amenities to cater to an ever-increasing population.
During her tenure as Delhi CM, she transformed the national capital into a greener and better city.
When it comes to communication Dikshit introduced the new-tech low floor buses to replace the old DTC buses. Also, the Delhi Metro saw rapid expansion during her tenure. In fact, Delhi got its first metro train between Kashmere Gate and Shahdara in 2002 during her tenure.
Pollution problem in Delhi is a havoc task to curb. To deal with pollution Dikshit changed all public transport to run on CNG instead of diesel. The move earned a lot of resistance from the transporters. However, she did not bow down and went ahead with her CNG plan.
During Dikshit’s tenure, Delhi successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games 2010. Of course, a lot of charges of corruption were levelled by the opposition in the procurement of goods for the games. However, nothing has ever been proved in the courts.
In December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Dikshit lost to Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency.
She had been declared as Chief Ministerial candidate for the Indian National Congress in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election. However, she later withdrew.
Dikshit was appointed as president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee on January 10, 2019.
Born Sheila Kapoor on March 31, 1938, in Punjab’s Kapurthala, she was educated at the Convent of Jesus and Mary school in New Delhi. She did her post-graduation in history from the Miranda House College, Delhi University.
She was married to Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Vinod Dikshit. She is survived by her two children — son Sandeep Dikshit and daughter Latika.