NEWS
20/07/2019 4:18 PM IST | Updated 20/07/2019 6:22 PM IST

Sheila Dikshit Passes Away At 81

Dikshit led the Congress to victory in three consecutive Delhi Assembly elections.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday in the national capital, according to media reports.

Indian Express reported that she had suffered a cardiac arrest. 

Dikshit famously led the Congress Party to victory in three consecutive Delhi Assembly elections.   

The senior Congress Party leader was 81. 

Times Now reported that she was admitted to a Delhi hospital at 10:30 am on Saturday morning, and passed away at 3:30 pm. 

Citing sources, the news channel reported that Dikshit had cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and she was immediately put on a ventilator. 

Dikshit was the daughter-in-law of Uma Shankar Dikshit, a freedom fighter and senior Congress Party leader, who served in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. 

Dikshit won her first Lok Sabha election from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. She is credited with transforming Delhi during the 15 years that she served as its chief minister. 

In 2013, the three-time chief minister and the Congress Party were defeated by then rookie Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). 

In 2017, political strategist Prashant Kishor recommended that Dikshit be made the Congress Party’s face in the UP Assembly election. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in UP. 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, she lost the North East Delhi constituency to BJP leader Manoj Tiwari. 

Dikshit, the second female chief minister of Delhi after Sushma Swaraj, was especially close to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. 

The Congress veteran, who was sick for a while now, underwent heart surgery in France, last year. 

Several political leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have condoled her death. 

The AAP-led Delhi government has announced a two-day state mourning to mark Dikshit’s death.  

(HuffPost India will update this post with more details).