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|December 1, 1998||
1998 has been a roller-coaster year for Shiela Dikshit
For Shiela Dikshit, her maiden election to the Lok Sabha in 1984 had fetched her the prestigious portfolios of Union minister of state for parliamentary affairs and minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office.
Now her maiden election to the Delhi assembly, after being in political wilderness for nearly a decade, has elevated her to an even more envious post.
Dikshit, who has been elected leader of the Congress legislature party in Delhi, had begun 1998 on an ominous note, losing the Lok Sabha election from the East Delhi constituency but is ending the year in triumph.
She was appointed president of the Delhi Congress unit on June 7, apparently for the express purpose of reviving the state party unit and leading it in the assembly elections.
This task was made easier for her by various factors, ranging from price rise to power and water crises and dissension within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Congress won a record 51 seats in the 70-member assembly. Dikshit won the Gole Market seat, defeating sitting member Kirti Azad.
Dikshit, daughter-in-law of the late Union home minister Uma Shankar Dikshit, had won the 1984 Lok Sabha elections from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. Barely a year later, then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi inducted her into his ministry as minister of state for parliamentary affairs.
In 1988, Dikshit got a further boost when she was made MoS in the PMO during a ministerial reshuffle.
Born on March 31, 1938, Dikshit got her masters degree in arts from Delhi University's Miranda House after her schooling at Convent of Jesus and Mary.
She has represented India on the United Nations Commission on Status of Women since 1984 and was a delegate to the Nairobi conference to mark the completion of the UN decade for women.
In mid-1987, she was made chairperson of the implementation committee for commemoration of 40 years of India's Independence and Jawaharlal Nehru centenary.
Her husband, an IAS officer, died of heart attack in 1987 while travelling by train from Kanpur to Delhi.
She was imprisoned for 23 days in 1990 when she led a movement to uphold the right of women to live in dignity in the wake of atrocities against them in Adhaar Kheda and Etawah districts of Uttar Pradesh.
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