NEW DELHI: Former Delhi chief minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit at age 81 Saturday, due to heart-related ailment at a private hospital. She was chief minister for 1998 to 2013, and later became the Governor of Kerala for a short duration. She was expected to lead the campaign for the upcoming assembly polls in Delhi.Her husband, Vindod Dikshit, had pre-deceased her. The couple sired two children –former MP and Congress leader Sandip Dikshit and Lathika Saeed.
The body will be kept for public darshan and homage at the Congress office on Sunday morning and will be cremated in the afternoon, the family said.
Born in Kapurthala in Punjab, she had her education and political grooming in capital Delhi. A Nehru family loyalist, she became a Lok Sabha member from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh in 1984 and held charge of PMO when Rajiv Gandhi was PM. She was hugely popular as CM until the CommonWealth Games scam erupted and it tarnished her image as well as cast a shadow over Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, among others. The AAP came from behind and Arvind Kejriwal defeated her in the New Delhi assembly constituency.
Sheila Dikshit was happy to be governor initially, but she soon felt bored as she was cut off from the theatre of politics in Delhi. She breathed politics and was hugely popular among the political class in the national capital. She was later asked to take charge of election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, where too she could not make a mark. IHN-NN
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