India News Congress warhorse Sheila Dikshit, credited for transforming Delhi, passes away Former Delhi chief minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away at a private hospital in Delhi on Saturday. Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday at the age of 81. The three-time CM had not been feeling well and was rushed to Escorts hospital in the morning. In the run-up to the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, Dikshit had replaced former Union minister Ajay Maken to steer the Congress in the national capital. Widely credited for transforming the face of Delhi, Dikshit was at the helm of Delhi affairs for 15 years from 1998 to 2013. She was born into a family of politicians in Punjab but joined active politics after her marriage to Vinod Dikshit, son of Uma Shankar Dikshit a former Union minister and governor. Dikshit’s foray into the political arena in Delhi happened after she lost four consecutive Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh and in 1998, Sonia Gandhi gave her the responsibility to head the Delhi unit of the party. A close associate of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and a minister in his cabinet, Dikshit became an MP for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. Allegations of corruption levelled against her government during the Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Delhi gangrape brought her under fire from activists and the media even as public discontent soared due to inflation and power crisis. She resigned after BJP came to power in 2014 riding on a Narendra Modi wave. A host of political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, have condoled the demise of Dikshit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was deeply saddened by Sheila Dikshit's demise. "Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi's development. Condolences to her family and supporters," he said.