Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday afternoon. She was 81. Dikshit was suffering from prolonged illness and took her last breath at Escorts Apollo hospital. Following the news of her death, the Delhi government declared two-day mourning for the three-time Delhi Chief Minister. Political leaders across parties including PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and others expressed their grief at her passing on Saturday. She will be accorded a state funeral today.
Follow the LIVE updates here:
4:40pm: Sheila Dikshit cremated with full state honours.
Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit was cremated with state honours, today. pic.twitter.com/AXvidT6ubO— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2019
4:00pm: Amit Shah and Arvind Kejriwal present at the crematorium.
3:30pm: Sheila Dikshit's remains reach Nigambodh Ghat. Prayers of last rites begin.
3:00pm: "There are very few people who are not tied down to the political party. Nobody ever considered Sheilaji as an enemy, she believed in unity. Everybody believes that she was the best CM Delhi has ever witnessed," said Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi.
2:30pm: Congress workers flocked to get a glimpse of the former CM.
2:00pm: MP CM Kamal Nath pays tribute.
1:01pm: "She was a great support for me. She became almost an elder sister and a friend. This is a big loss for Congress party. I will always remember her," said UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
1:00pm: Thousands reach AICC headquarters to bid adieu to the former CM.
12:59pm: Former PM Manmohan Singh pays tribute to Sheila Dikshit at AICC headquarters.
12:45pm: Sonia, Priyanka Gandhi pay tribute to Sheila Dikshit at Congress headquarters.
12:26pm: Kapil Sibal and Sachin Pilot reach AICC headquarters to pay tribute to the former Delhi CM.
12:20pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will be present during the minister's last rites at Nigambodh Ghat.
12:10pm: Mortal remains of the minister taken to Congress headquarters.
Delhi: Mortal remains of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit being taken from her residence in Nizamuddin to Congress Headquarters. pic.twitter.com/T80zxxH3eh— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2019
11:55am: Preparations underway at Sheila Dikshit's residence for the former CM's last rites.
11:30am: Sheila Dikshit's mortal remains to be moved to Delhi State Congress office at 1:30pm.
11:15am: Anand Mahindra mourns Sheila Dikshit's death.
We Indians revere figures that are maternal and readily accept them in leadership roles. But good leaders transcend gender labels. #SheilaDikshit was one such leader. I will remember her most distinctly for being a pioneering champion of electric mobility in Delhi... https://t.co/0U3XNORCIC— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 20, 2019
11:00am: Senior BJP leader LK Advani pays his tribute.
10:59am: In her letter to Sandeep Dikshit, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said, "She brought grace, humanity, wisdom and excellence to everything she did."
UPA Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi writes to Shri Sandeep Dikshit & Latika condoling the passing of Smt Sheila Dikshit pic.twitter.com/q5VwhfhsPf— Congress (@INCIndia) July 20, 2019
10:50am: "In her death, the country has lost a great administrator and an outstanding leader who contributed enormously to all-round development of Delhi," said former PM Manmohan Singh in a letter to Sheila Diskhsit's son and Congress leader, Sandeep Bakshi.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh writes to Shri Sandeep Dikshit condoling the passing away of his mother Smt Sheila Dikshit pic.twitter.com/NErhGA7iee— Congress (@INCIndia) July 20, 2019
10:45am: The CNG machine that will be used for her cremation is a cost-effective and pollution-less option. The machine uses gas instead of wood, thereby causing less pollution during the cremation. However, not many people are keen to take it up and they prefer the traditional method.
10:30am: The minister will be cremated in the CNG crematorium as per her wishes. "The cremation of Sheila Dikshit will be done tomorrow (Sunday) at 2.30pm by using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) machine installed at Nigam Bodh Ghat. This was the wish by her when she was alive," her son and Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI on Saturday.
10:18am: Sheila Dikshit was the longest serving woman chief minister who ruled Delhi for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2013. She is credited for ushering in an era of all-round development that transformed Delhi into a world class capital.
She also initiated green reforms in public transport sector successfully accomplishing the shift from polluting vehicles to a CNG based fleet.
10:17am: Born in Kapurthala in Punjab to a non-political family in 1938, Dikshit did her schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary School in the capital and graduated from Miranda House, University of Delhi
She was married in July 1962 to bureaucrat.
10:15am: Sushma Swaraj arrives to pay her last respects.
10:15am: Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah pays his last respects.
10:10am: "My mother passed away, it's natural that I'll miss her. The pain of losing a mother cannot be erased," said Sandeep Dikshit.
"Whenever one will talk of new, modern and progressive Delhi, Sheila ji will always be remembered. At times, it is difficult in political life that you are remembered for the good works. I hope that as she worked for Delhi, she continues to inspire us. And not just Delhi, every city should become excellent," he said.
10:05am: The minister's final journey:
- The minister's mortal remains will be moved from her residence to the All India Congress Committee's headquarters at 11:30am.
- Her remains are expected to reach AICC at 12:15pm.
- The former CM's remains will be taken from AICC to the cremation ground at 1:30pm.
- Sheila Dikshit's cremation will take place at 2:30pm.
10:00am: Sheila Dikshit's last rites will take place at Nigambodh Ghat at 2:30pm today.