Sheila Dikshit cremated with State Honours, top leaders present
New Delhi, July 21: Sheila Dikshit, the three-time chief minister of Delhi and senior Congress leader was cremated at Delhi's Nigambodh Ghat with full state honours in presence of top leaders.
Hundreds turned up to pay homage to Dikhsit as her body was brought to the Congress headquarters, where senior leaders Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also paid their last respects.
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.
Sheila Dikshit was the longest reigning chief minister of Delhi, serving for 15 years from 1998 to 2013.
Congress workers jostled to have a glimpse of their leader as the body was brought in a glass casket from her Nizaumuddin residence to the party headquarters. The truck carrying the casket moved slowly as the road was packed with supporters who chanted 'Jab tak suraj chand rahega Sheila ji ka naam rahega'.
Later her body taken to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee's office for the last time, the place that was central to her politics since 1998. Dikshit had led the DPCC in 1998 against the then formidable city unit of the BJP and ensured victory for her party. Her winning streak continued uninterrupted from 1998-2013 until she faced a drubbing at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Her body will be later taken to the Nigam Bodh Ghat for cremation. The Delhi government had declared two-day mourning in the national capital as a mark of respect for her.
PM Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and other top leaders paid their respects to Sheila Dikshit at her residence on Saturday.
Several top Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Ahmed Patel and chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath, paid their last respects to Dikshit at the Congress office. Earlier in the day, BJP patriarch L K Advani and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Dikshit's residence and paid homage.
Most of the people had some encounter with Dikshit during her 15 years stint as the chief minister of the national capital. Dikshit's friend Anastasia Gill, former Delhi Minority Commission Member, said she will remember the Congress leader for her strong character and determination.
In view of her sudden death, the Indian Army said that a Tri-Service band performance scheduled to be held at India Gate on July 21 has been postponed.
"Due to sad Demise of @SheilaDikshit, Tri-Services Band Performance at India Gate on July 21 is being postponed to July 22 at same time and venue. No change in Kargil Vijay Run on July 21 at 0600h from Vijay Chowk. Event dedicated to Kargil martyrs," Indian Army said in a tweet.