Three-time Delhi CM, Sheila Dikshit is back in the game
Sheila Dikshit took over as the chief of Congress unit in Delhi, returning to active politics in a bid to revive the grand old party that was wiped out of the national capital about five years ago by Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party.
The longest serving chief minister of Delhi and one of the most popular leaders in the capital, 80-year-old Dikshit was appointed as Delhi Congress chief after Ajay Maken resigned from the post.
During her three terms as chief minister of Delhi, she was the MLA from Gole Market in 1998 and 2003, and the representative of New Delhi constituency in 2008.
She has been hailed as bringing massive development to the capital, especially in bringing the Delhi Metro and improving road infrastructure, which helped bring down pollution.
Dikshit also had her share of controversies. In 2009, she was accused of diverting Rs 3.5 crore meant for development work for her poll campaign in 2008. The Lokayukta later dropped the corruptions claims.
In 2009, she came under criticism for granting parole to Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma, but she justified it saying there was nothing “illegal or unlawful”.
In 2010, she was accused of corruption in the Commonwealth Games. The CAG found irregularities in the import of equipment for street lighting in the city.
Delhi saw massive protests in December 2012, after a physiotherapy student was brutally gang raped in a moving bus on a Sunday night. Dikshit came under criticism for trying to shift blame to the Centre with regard to the control of city police and saying that she had launched a helpline.
In the 2013 polls, Kejriwal defeated her in the New Delhi Assembly constituency by a margin of 25,864 votes, following which she was appointed Governor of Kerala in March 2014, but resigned five months later after the Narendra Modi-led BJP came to power at the Centre.
Sheila Dikshit was married to an IAS officer, late Vinod Dikshit, who was the son of independence activist and former West Bengal Governor Uma Shankar Dikshit, and the couple has two children. Son, Sandeep Dikshit was an MP from East Delhi and is a Congress leader. She also has a daughter Latika.
They maintain a close relationship with the Congress’s first family, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.