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Last Updated : Jul 20, 2019 08:34 PM IST | Source:

Sheila Dikshit passes away: Veteran Congress leader and 3-time Delhi Chief Minister who championed women's welfare

The Congress candidate in 2019 Lok Sabha polls from North East Delhi constituency, Dikshit was admitted to Escorts hospital a few days ago. She breathed her last around 3.55 pm.

Somya Lohia @lohia06

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, and one of the most prominent faces of the Congress party, died on July 20 in New Delhi. She was 81.

The Congress candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from North East Delhi constituency, Dikshit was admitted to Escorts hospital a few days ago. She breathed her last around 3.55 pm.

A veteran leader, Dikshit served the people of Delhi as its Chief Minister over three terms — the longest stretch by any Chief Minister of Delhi. She was also credited for improving the welfare of women with her work. Dikshit was even said to be jailed for 23 days along with her 82 colleagues by the Uttar Pradesh government when she led a movement against the atrocities being committed on women.


Entry into politics

Dikshit was married to the son of independence activist and former West Bengal Governor Uma Shankar Dikshit. In due course, Uma Shankar was appointed as a union cabinet minister in the Indira Gandhi-led government. Sheila Dikshit was helping her father-in-law as he was serving in this position when Indiara Gandhi noticed her. Gandhi acknowledged her administrative skills and nominated her as India's delegate to the United Nations Commission on the issue of the status of women.

She represented India at the United Nations for five years, from 1984-1989.

During the period between 1984 and 1989, she represented Kannauj parliamentary constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

Delhi Chief Minister

In 1998 Lok sabha elections, Dikshit was defeated by Lal Bihari Tiwari of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in securing the East Delhi seat. In the same year, Dikshit became the Chief Minister of Delhi. She was the Chief Minister of Delhi from 1998 until her last term in 2013, when the Congress lost the Delhi Assembly elections held in December 2013.

Governor of Kerala

Dikshit also served as the Governor of Kerala from March 4, 2014 to August 26, 2014.

2019 Lok Sabha polls

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls 2019, Sheila Dikshit was appointed as the Delhi chief of the Congress party after the incumbent Ajay Maken stepped down citing health issues.

The Congress had lost all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi to the BJP by wide margins. However, under Dikshit's leadership, the party managed to push AAP candidates on the third place in five of the seven seats, besides registering growth in its vote share.

An octogenarian, Dikshit herself contested against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari for the North East Delhi seat, and lost by over 3.66 lakh votes.

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First Published on Jul 20, 2019 05:44 pm
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