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With moist eyes, Delhi bids adieu to Sheila Dikshit

Last updated on: July 21, 2019 18:33 IST

The mortal remains of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit were consigned to flames on Sunday, with colleagues, Congress workers and admirers braving heavy rains and gusty winds to bid her final farewell.

IMAGE: Delhi Police personnel carry the mortal remains of former CM Shiela Dikshit during her funeral at Nigambodh Ghat in New Delhi. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

The 81-year-old Congress veteran, who died on Saturday due to cardiac arrest, was cremated with full state honours at the Nigambodh Ghat.

 

Top Congress leaders, including United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were present at the funeral.

IMAGE: Supporters hold a portrait of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit while paying their last respects to her at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

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.

A large number of party workers were gathered at the site despite torrential rains.

IMAGE: Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra pay tributes to former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit at Congress headquarters. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Earlier, paying homage to Dikshit, Sonia Gandhi said the three-time chief minister of Delhi was a friend and like an elder sister to her. Her demise was a big loss to the Congress party, she said.

WATCH: Politicos praise Sheila Dikshit for her remarkable contribution

 

Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch L K Advani and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also visited Dikshit's residence and paid tributes to her.

Dikshit's body was taken to the Congress headquarters where top 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.

IMAGE: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra talks to a family member of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit after paying her last respects to her mortal remains, at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Friends and admirers fondly recalled their interactions with Dikshit during her 15 years stint as the chief minister of the national capital.

IMAGE: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attends the funeral of former CM Shiela Dikshit. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

Dikshit's friend Anastasia Gill, former Delhi Minority Commission member, said, she will remember the Congress leader for her strong character and determination.

"Sheila treated everyone equally and it was her determination that she could fight back the allegations of corruption during her third term as chief minister," Gill said.

IMAGE: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh pays his last respects to the mortal remains of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit at the AICC headquarters. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Congress worker Virender Kumar Chaudhary, who is physically challenged, recollected his visit to Dikshit four days ago.

WATCH: Leaders at AICC headquarters to pay last respects to Sheila Dikshit

 

He reminisced how Dikshit ensured cycles for the physically challenged and her assistance in securing admission for his daughter at a college in 2008.

IMAGE: Home Minister Amit Shah attends the funeral of former CM Shiela Dikshit. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited her residence and was accompanied by Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.

IMAGE: The mortal remains of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit at India Gate while being taken to Delhi Pradesh Congress office in a decorated van. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

As the longest serving woman chief minister who steered her party to victory for three consecutive terms in 1998, 2003 and 2008, Dikshit ushered 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.

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