The veteran Congress leader and India’s longest-serving female chief minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on July 20, 2019 in a hospital. The veteran leader, Sheila served as chief minister of Delhi for three consecutive terms, from 1998 to 2013.
During her 15-year rule, the face of Delhi changed completely from being an extended outpost of Punjabi-Haryanvi culture to a thriving cosmopolitan.
All you need to know about Sheila Dikshit:
The veteran leader, Dikshit was born in Kapurthala, Punjab to a non-political family in 1938, Dikshit did her schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary School in Delhi and completed her MA in history from Delhi University’s Miranda House college.
She started her political career from Uttar Pradesh as a Member of Parliament from Kannauj constituency in 1984.
Dikshit, a loyalist of the Gandhi family, was handpicked by Rajiv Gandhi to serve as a Union minister in his Cabinet from 1986-1989.
Dikshit was married in 1962 to Vinod Dikshit, son of freedom fighter and former West Bengal governor Uma Shankar Dikshit, who came from Ugu village of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
Her entry into politics was accidental. Her father-in-law Uma Shankar Dikshit was a Cabinet minister in Indira Gandhi’s government. Indira noticed her work and nominated her as a delegate of the United Nations Commission on the issue of status of women.
She was jailed in 1990 for 23 days in Uttar Pradesh for leading a movement against the atrocities on women.
She became Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998 after Congress’ resounding victory. The party won 52 out of 70 seats. She served as Delhi CM for three consecutive terms between 1998-2013.
Her largely glorious legacy in Delhi ended in 2013 when Congress was reduced to just eight seats due to large scale corruption charges. She was appointed as the Governor of Kerala in March 2014, but resigned after few months.
She made a come back in 2019 when party made her the Delhi Congress chief just ahead of Lok Sabha election in 2019, but she herself lost the North East seat in Delhi to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari.