Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was laid to rest Sunday with full state honours at Nigambodh Ghat. A host of political leaders across party lines attended the last rites of veteran Congress leader, who died of cardiac arrest on Saturday.
Top Congress leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were present at the funeral. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Home Minister Satyendar Jain were among those who attended the last rites.
Earlier in the day, Dikshit’s mortal remains were brought to AICC headquarters at 24 Akbar Road where party leaders, including Manmohan Singh, chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath, paid their respects. Later, the body was taken to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office, the city unit which she was heading at the time of her death.
On Saturday, leaders from different political parties paid their tribute to Dikshit, remembering her contribution in shaping the capital city. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, former union minister Vijay Goel and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari reached her Nizamuddin East home to pay respects after her death.
Dikshit, who was the Delhi CM for 15 years from 1998 to 2003, had been out of power for six years, except for a short stint as Kerala governor in 2014. She worked with central governments under both NDA and UPA, with many BJP leaders Sunday calling her a true statesman who went above party lines to ensure Delhi’s development.
Condoling Dikshit’s death, Sonia Gandhi said, “She was a friend…almost like an elder sister. This is a big loss to the Congress party.”
Kejriwal, a bitter political foe — AAP made several allegations of corruption against Dikshit during its campaign in 2013 and 2015 — Saturday said he was saddened by Dikshit’s demise: “Delhi will miss her… Even though we were from different parties, she was always affectionate. There will be a vacuum in Delhi politics. Unhone Dilli ke liye achha kaam kia.”
On Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote: “Deeply saddened by the demise of Sheila Dikshit ji. Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti.”
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