Sheila Dikshit and her interesting political innings

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Sheila Dikshit, former Chief Minister of Delhi passed away in the capital city’s Fortis Escorts Heart Institute following a cardiac arrest. She served as a Delhi chief of the Congress party during the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. She was the three-time chief minister of Delhi and lost to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal by over 25,000 votes in the 2013 assembly elections. She served as the Chief Minister of the state for 15 years from 1998 to 2013.

Born on 31st March 1938 in Kapurthala, Punjab, she did her schooling from the Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi. She went on to study History at the Miranda House College of the University of Delhi. She also holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Delhi.  

One of the stalwarts of the Congress party, she was also the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi. In fact, her father-in-law was also a minister in the government of Indira Gandhi. Prior to becoming the Chief Minister, she represented the Lok Sabha constituency of Kannuj, Uttar Pradesh. She served on the Estimates Committee as a Member of Parliament. During this period, she also chaired the Implementation Committee for Jawaharlal Nehru centenary and Commemoration of Forty Year of India’s Independence.

It was the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi who identified her administrative skills and nominated her as a representative for the Indian delegation to the United Nations Commission on Status of Women. She represents India at the United Nation for half a decade, from 1984-89. She served as a Minister of State (MoS) for Parliamentary Affairs in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet and later as an MoS in the office of Prime Minister.

In 1990, she along with her 82 colleagues was jailed 23 days by the state government for leading a drive against the violence on women. In 2013 Legislative Assembly elections, she along with Congress Party were wiped by the AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal. Later, she was appointed as the Governor of Kerala. There she was forced to resign after five months.

She shall always be remembered by the people of Delhi for bringing about major infrastructural changes to the capital city of the country. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

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