New Delhi, July 20: Sheila Dikshit was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress who had the distinction of being Delhi's longest serving chief minister and giving the national capital Delhi its modern look.
A warm and affable politician, she was a loyalist of the Gandhi family. She was handpicked by Rajiv Gandhi to be part of his council of ministers after he became the prime minister in 1984. She represented the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat then.
For her, politics was not only about jousting for power but also about bonding with people and getting re-energised in the process.
Born in Kapurthala in Punjab to a non-political family in 1938, Dikshit did her schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary School in the capital and graduated from Miranda House, University of Delhi.
She was married in July 1962 to bureaucrat
Vinod Dikshit, whose father Uma Shankar Dikshit was a loyalist of Jawaharlal Nehru and served as a minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet in 1971 and later became Governor of Karnataka and West Bengal.
As the longest serving woman chief minister who ruled the city state for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2013, Dikshit ushered in an era of all-round development that transformed Delhi into a world class capital.
She also initiated green reforms in public transport sector successfully accomplishing the shift from polluting vehicles to a CNG based fleet.
The sudden demise of three-time Delhi Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit on Saturday has evoked condolences from political leaders cutting across party lines.
Dikshit passed away at a private hospital here following a cardiac arrest. She was 81.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among the first to condoled the demise of Dikshit.
Kovind said she had transformed the national capital in her tenure.
"Sad to hear of the passing of Sheila Dikshit, former Chief Minister of Delhi and a senior political figure. Her term in office was a period of momentous transformation for the capital for which she will be remembered. Condolences to her family and associates," the President said in a tweet.
Modi too said that Dikshit made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi's development.
"Deeply saddened by the demise of Sheila Dikshit. Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi's development. Condolences to her family and supporters," Modi tweeted.
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