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2-min read

Sheila Dikshit's Breakfast Trick to Iron Out Differences with 'Difficult' Officers

Haroon Yusuf recalled how despite having difference of opinion with the Lieutenant Governor on some issues as chief minister, she never let it come out in the public.


Updated:July 21, 2019, 9:47 PM IST
Sheila Dikshit's Breakfast Trick to Iron Out Differences with 'Difficult' Officers
File photo of Sheila Dikshit. (PTI)

New Delhi: Interpersonal skills and the ability to iron out differences through talks were Sheila Dikshit's strongest qualities and also key to her long stint as chief minister, Delhi Congress leaders said.

Dikshit, one of Congress's tallest leaders and a three-time Delhi chief minister, passed away Saturday and her mortal remains were consigned to flames on Sunday, with colleagues, party workers and admirers braving heavy rains and gusty winds to bid her final farewell.

Known as a warm and affable politician, Dikshit could get along well with politicians from all parties for which she drew widespread respect.

Haroon Yusuf, who was a minister in Dikshit's cabinet from 2001 to 2013 and handled portfolios like transport and food and civil supplies, said she loved to serve food and would often invite

her cabinet colleagues for breakfast when many issues would be resolved.

"Delhi has its own limitations and she was aware of it. She never adopted the approach of confrontation. Instead she believed in persuasion that helped her get work done whenever it was stuck with the Centre or with the bureaucracy," Yusuf, who is the acting president of the Delhi Congress, said.

Dikshit was the president of the Delhi Congress and the 81-year-old had served as chief minister for 15 years from 1998-2013.

He recalled how despite having difference of opinion with the Lieutenant Governor on some issues as chief minister, she never let it come out in the public.

Veteran Delhi Congress leader and five-time MP Jai Prakash Agarwal said she had the ability to iron out differences when views on any subject varied.

Agarwal, who served as the Delhi Pradesh Congress chief during Dikshit's tenure as CM, recalls how she would call him up the next morning if the two had difference of views on a certain subject.

"Either she would call me to her residence or office or she would come down to meet me and sort out the difference, whatever it may be. She had the ability to forget things...she had a big

heart," Agarwal said.

"She never brought the situation to a level where striking a dialogue with anyone was not possible," he said.

This quality helped her be Delhi chief minister for 15 years.Even bureaucrats were happy with her way of working, Agarwal said.

Two-time MP Mahalbal Mishra said her positive approach helped her run the city for three consecutive terms.

Recollecting an instance when he had requested Dikshit to start metro rail services in his West Delhi constituency, Mishra said she promptly responded asking when can the ground breaking work be scheduled.

"I went to her with water crisis in my area and immediately ordered for 250 MGD of water," he said. Dikshit suffered a cardiac arrest Saturday and breathed her last at 3.55 pm at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

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