Veteran Congress leader and three-times Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was cremated with full state honours at Nigam Bodh Ghat today in New Delhi. Dikshit (81) died of a cardiac arrest at a Delhi hospital on Saturday.
Earlier, politics leaders including senior BJP leaders came to Dikshit’s South Delhi home this morning to pay their respects. Her body was taken to Congress headquarters in central Delhi from where the funeral procession went to Nigam Bodh ghat.
As per her wishes, she was cremated using the Compressed natural gas (CNG) method which uses the natural gas instead of the wood to prevent pollution.
Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, L K Advani and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too visited her home to pay their respect. Delhi government has announced two days mourning period.
“She was a great support for me. She became almost an elder sister and a friend. This is a big loss for the Congress party. I will always remember her,” Sonia Gandhi told news agency ANI this afternoon.
Rahul Gandhi who was in US also offered condolences to Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit over the phone.
“Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti,” PM Modi tweeted.
Born in Punjab’s Kapurthala, Sheila Dikshit was credited with numerous people-friendly programmes.She had served as Delhi’s chief minister for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013.
She was succeeded by Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. After her stint as Delhi chief minister, she went to Kerala’s as the Governor in 2014, but resigned in just six months.