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Published On: Sun, Jul 21st, 2019

Sheila Dikshit Leaves a Message for Her Delhi With CNG Cremation

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sheila_dikshit_funeral_updates_1563699769NEW DELHI : Politics was put aside. The sudden downpour ignored. All gathered for her last journey — those she worked alongside, those she fought and those she fought for. As the hearse carrying the casket moved slowly from her house to the party headquarters towards the funeral, cries rang through the air, “Jab tak suraj chand rahega Sheilaji ka naam rahega”.

Sheila Dikshit was cremated using the CNG method, in compliance with her wish. The concept of CNG to curb pollution was introduced in the national capital by Dikshit during her tenure as CM.
Mokshda is a nonprofit group in National Capital that has been campaigning for an environmentally friendly approach to cremation, and had also set up the CNG machine at Nigambodh ghat, where Dikshit was laid to rest.
Political leaders from across party lines said farewell to three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who died yesterday after a cardiac arrest at the age of 81.
At the Congress headquarters, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh offered their last tributes as the funeral procession prepared to move on to Nigam Bodh Ghat. Others included the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj and LK Advani, and National Conference’s Omar Abdullah.
Sonia Gandhi, who shared a close personal relationship with Ms Dikshit, described her as a “almost an elder sister and a friend”.Her daughter Priyanka Gandhi recalled how the veteran leader always greeted her with a hug. Rahul Gandhi is in the US and has offered his condolences on phone to Sheila Dikshit’s son, Sandeep Dikshit.
Sheila Dikshit, former Delhi chief minister, was cremated with state honours at Nigam Bodh Ghat on Sunday evening. Hundreds of her colleagues and supporters bade her a final goodbye inspite of the heavy rain that lashed the national capital in the evening.

Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday after a cardiac arrest. In the next 24 hours, political rivalries were momentarily put aside as tributes and condolences poured in. From the upper echelons of the Congress to the BJP’s top leadership to state parties. Top Congress leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were present at the funeral.
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.
Earlier, paying homage to Dikshit, Sonia 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.

BJP patriarch LK Advani and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also visited Dikshit’s residence and paid tributes to her. Afterwards, her body was taken to the AICC headquarters at Akbar Road where top party leaders, including Manmohan Singh, chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath, paid their respects, before heading to the Nigam Bodh ghat for cremation. The cremation was done using the CNG method that was installed at the ghat during her tenure as Delhi CM.
Aravind Kejriwal, who would hand Dikshit her first electoral loss in decades, was among the first to underscore the importance of the three-time CM’s contribution. After announcing that the Delhi government would host a state funeral for her, he wrote, “Only last month I had met her for nearly an hour when she came with her party’s delegation to submit a memorandum on several issues. At the end of the meeting, I wished her good health, not knowing that this would be my last meeting with her.”
Sonia Gandhi, in her letter to Dikshit’s son Sandeep, talked about the vacuum that was created by her death. She wrote, “She worked with such vision and dedication to transform Delhi, to make it a much better place to live in for all its citizens, including the poorest, and that tremendous achievement remains her lasting legacy.”

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.

Sheila Dikshit had served as Delhi’s chief minister for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013. She was succeeded by Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. After her stint as Delhi chief minister, she went to Kerala’s as the Governor in 2014, but resigned in just six months.
Born in Punjab’s Kapurthala, Sheila Dikshit was credited with numerous people-friendly programmes. During her 15-year stint, Delhi had taken huge strides towards clean air and inclusive governance.
Among her key initiatives for Delhi were buses run on Compressed Natural Gas, inclusion of Resident Welfare Organisations in local governance, focus on infrastructure including roads and flyovers, privatisation of discoms and trifurcation of Delhi’s civic body. Even in death, she had chosen to be cremated in a CNG crematorium, underscoring her message of a clean environment.
In his condolence message, PM Modi tweeted: “Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti.”
Arvind Kejriwal said he was shocked by the news. “I had met her for nearly an hour last month when she came with her party’s delegation to submit a memorandum on several issues. At the end of the meeting I wished her good health, not knowing that this would be my last meeting with her.” The two had been political rivals, but their exchanges on twitter had been peppered with banter.





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