New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday condoled the death of his predecessor Sheila Dikshit and said that though she was a political rival and their views were opposite on many issues, he found her to be a warm and affectionate person.
Three-term chief minister Dikshit passed away on Saturday afternoon. She was 81 and breathed her last around 3.55 pm at a private hospital. Reminiscing about his last meeting with Dikshit, Kejriwal, in a statement, termed the news of her demise "shocking".
"Only last month I 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," he said.
The chief minister said the people of Delhi would always remember her contribution and the void left by her would never be filled. She understood the issues concerning Delhi very well, he said.
"Though we were political rivals and our views were opposite on many issues, I found her to be warm and an affectionate person whenever we met.
"I came to know about her health concerns last year, when she had written to the Delhi government about her surgery requirements abroad, which was successful. But I could never imagine that she would leave us so soon," he said, adding that she would be missed.
"It is a huge loss for Delhi and her contribution will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to her family members. May her soul rest in peace," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said wrote on Twitter.
In view of Dikshit's demise, Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia cancelled their scheduled trip to Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The news of the demise of former chief minister of Delhi, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, is very sad. May God give peace to her soul, and give the family the strength to bear this loss," Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said on Twitter, while also announcing a two-day mourning period and a state funeral for Delhi longest-serving chief minister.
Delhi govt has decided to observe a two-day state mourning as a mark of respect in the memory of former Chief Minister and veteran leader Mrs Sheila Dikshit ji. She will be accorded a state funeral.— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) July 20, 2019
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas thanked Dikshit for a golden lesson of politics that she imparted to him on a Delhi-Lucknow flight, while Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal offered condolences to Dikshit's friends and family members. "Just learnt about the demise of Delhi's ex-chief minister Sheila Dikshit ji. May her soul always rest in peace," she said.