New Delhi, Senior Congress leaders–Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on Sunday paid floral tributes to former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit at the party headquarter here. Ms Gandhi was accompanied by Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, veteran party leader Karan Singh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Randeep Singh Surjewala and RJD leader Manoj Jha.
Talking to reporters here after paying tribute to Shiela Dikshit, Ms Gandhi said, “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 shall always remember her.”
Former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar said, “She was a very strong, loyal and dedicated soldier of the Congress party. My association with her is since the time when I finished my training from the drama school and got a chance to work with Vinod Dikshit, when he was the district magistrate of Agra.”
The kind of infrastructure and identity that Delhi has is because of the efforts and dedication of Ms Dikshit,” he added. Three-time Delhi chief minister Ms Dikshit will be accorded a state funeral in the national capital and is set to be cremated at Nigambodh Ghat at 1430 hrs.
“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,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
Other Congress leaders who paid tributes include Kapil Sibal, Ajay Maken and Haroon Yusuf. CPI leader D Raja also paid his tributes to former Delhi Chief Minister. The 81-year-old icon of the Congress, who had been keeping ill for a long time, was admitted to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla, New Delhi, in a critical condition with cardiac arrest.
The end came at 1555 hrs after a second heart attack. The Aam Aadmi Party-led Government declared a two-day mourning in Delhi in her memory. Dikshit served as Chief Minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2013 for three consecutive terms.