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Sheila Dikshit (née Kapoor;[2] occasionally anglicised Dixit; born 31 March 1938) is an Indian politician who was the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi, serving for a period of 15 years from 1998 to 2013. Dikshit led Congress party to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi. In the December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Dikshit was defeated in New Delhi constituency by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who replaced her as Delhi's chief minister.

Sheila Dikshit
President of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee
Assumed office
10 January 2019
National PresidentRahul Gandhi
Preceded byAjay Maken
Governor of Kerala
In office
11 March 2014 – 25 August 2014
Preceded byNikhil Kumar
Succeeded byP. Sathasivam [1]
6th Chief Minister of Delhi
In office
3 December 1998 – 28 December 2013
Preceded bySushma Swaraj
Succeeded byArvind Kejriwal
Member of Legislative Assembly
Gole Market (1998–2008)
In office
03 December 1998 – 3 December 2008
Preceded byKirti Azad
Succeeded bySeat Delimited
Member of Legislative Assembly
New Delhi (2008-2013)
In office
4 December 2008 – 28 December 2013
Preceded bySeat Created
Succeeded byArvind Kejriwal
Member of Parliament
In office
Preceded byChhotey Singh Yadav
Succeeded byChhotey Singh Yadav
Member of Indian delegation
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
In office
Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs
In office
Prime MinisterRajiv Gandhi
Personal details
Born (1938-03-31) 31 March 1938 (age 81)
Kapurthala, Punjab, British India
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)Vinod Dikshit
ChildrenSandeep Dikshit
Latika Dikshit Syed
Alma materMiranda House, University of Delhi

Subsequently, she was sworn in as Governor of Kerala on 11 March 2014. However, she resigned on 25 August 2014.[3] She had been declared as Chief Ministerial candidate for the Indian National Congress in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, 2017; however she later withdrew. She was appointed as president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee on January 10, 2019.[4]


Early yearsEdit

Sheila Kapoor was born on 31 March 1938 in Kapurthala, Punjab into a Punjabi Khatri family.[5] She was educated at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in New Delhi and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in history from the Miranda House at the University of Delhi.[6]

Political careerEdit

During the period between 1984 and 1989, she represented Kannauj parliamentary constituency of Uttar Pradesh. As a member of Parliament, she served on the Estimates Committee of Lok Sabha. Dikshit also chaired the Implementation Committee for Commemoration of Forty Years of India's Independence and Jawaharlal Nehru centenary. She represented India at United Nations Commission on Status of Women for five years (1984–1989). She also served as a Union Minister during 1986–1989, first as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and later as a Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office. In Uttar Pradesh, she and her 82 colleagues were jailed in August 1990 for 23 days by the state government when she led a movement against the atrocities being committed on women. Earlier, in the early 1970s, she was chairperson of the Young Women's Association and was instrumental in the setting up two of the most successful hostels for working women in Delhi. She is also the Secretary of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.[citation needed].

In the 1998 parliamentary elections, Dikshit was defeated by Bharatiya Janata Party's Lal Bihari Tiwari in East Delhi constituency. Later, Dikshit became Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998. She served for nearly 15 years as the Chief Minister of Delhi until 2013. Dikshit represented the Gole Market assembly constituency in the 1998 and 2003 Assembly elections and New Delhi constituency from 2008.

In 2009, the Delhi Lokayukta (anti-corruption ombudsman) investigated a complaint filed by advocate Sunita Bhardwaj, a BJP worker, saying that Dikshit misused 3.5 crore rupees received from the Central government under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana to give out political advertisements.[7] The Lokayukta later dropped the corruptions claims.[7][8] The complainant then sought to book Dikshit under the Representation of People’s Act, claiming she had been "misrepresenting facts" about the flats her government had built for the urban poor.[7] It was ruled by the Lokayukta that the government actions did not fall foul of the act but it will try to book her under the Section 2 (b) of the Act that stipulates adherence to norms of conduct and integrity expected of "public functionaries".[7] The case is now[when?] nearing a verdict with the final arguments having begun.[citation needed] Dikshit hit back at the Lokayukta, stating: "[Lokayukta] can't be the sole judge of what is unethical" and the anti-graft watchdog should "limit itself to core corruption issues".[8]

In November 2009, Dikshit came under criticism for granting parole to convicted murderer Manu Sharma after media reports of him visiting night clubs in Delhi emerged. Sharma was jailed for murdering Jessica Lal and is serving a life sentence. Dikshit defended her decision to sign the parole papers, declaring nothing "illegal or unlawful" was done in extending the benefit to the prisoner. The Delhi high court noted that she had given preferential treatment to Sharma in granting parole while neglecting such pleas of "poor" people languishing in jail for years. Asked about the high court's criticism of the decision, Dikshit justified her position, saying "whatever files I receive, they come through proper channels."[9] She further alleged that the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor was responsible for paving the way for Sharma's parole.[9]

Dikshit was accused of corruption regarding the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report allegedly blamed her for irregularities in imported equipment for street lighting in the city during the games. Delhi chief secretary P. K. Tripathi stated that the Chief Minister played no part in awarding contracts for street lighting in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games.[10]

Dikshit's remark in the Assembly said that only one gang rape in the city in December 2012 had prompted her government to launch the 181 helpline drew sharp criticism with the BJP saying it reflected her "insensitivity" towards women.[citation needed]

In August 2013 the ombudsman court ordered an FIR to be filed against her and others for allegedly misusing government funds for an advertising campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly elections.[11] But no charges were ever brought.[12] Her party was wiped out in the Delhi Legislative Assembly election, 2013 and Arvind Kejriwal founder of Aam Admi party won the election in the New Delhi Assembly constituency by a margin of 25,864 votes.[13][14] She resigned on 8 December 2013, but remained the caretaker Chief Minister of Delhi till the new Government was sworn in on 28 December 2013. She was appointed as the Governor of Kerala in March 2014, but was forced to resign five months later.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Dikshit was married to Vinod Dikshit, son of independence activist and former West Bengal Governor Uma Shankar Dikshit, who came from Ugu village of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.[16] He was as an officer in the Indian Administrative Service. He died due to a heart attack in a train journey with his wife and children.

Dikshit has two children including a son, Sandeep Dikshit, who is a former Member of Parliament of the 15th Lok Sabha from East Delhi.[17] and a daughter, Latika Syed.

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 2008 Best Chief Minister of India, by Journalist Association of India[citation needed]
  • 2009 Politician of the Year by NDTV[citation needed]
  • 2010 Dara Shikoh award by Indo-Iran Society [18]
  • 2013 Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award 2013 by ALL Ladies League for Outstanding Public Service.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sathasivam becomes Kerala governor, to take oath on September 5". India Today. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  2. ^ Rajesh Ramachandran (23 October 2013). "In Delhi, BJP bets on surgeon to take on techie crusader | Business Line". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit resigns". 26 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Sheila Dikshit, 3-Time Chief Minister, Appointed Delhi Congress Chief". Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  5. ^ Iyer, Lakshmi (15 December 2003). "Metro Mater". India Today. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Sheila Dikshit: Profile". Express India. 10 December 2003. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d "Censure Dikshit, Delhi lokayukta to President of India". Hindustan Times. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  8. ^ a b Garg, Abhinav (26 October 2011). "Sheila Dikshit questions Lokayukta's power". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Nothing illegal or unlawful in Manu Sharma parole: Sheila Dikshit". 28 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Commonwealth Games fiasco: Government's auditor faults Sheila too". 3 August 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Court orders FIR against Sheila Dikshit". The Times of India. 1 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015.
  12. ^ "No info on corruption cases against Sheila Dikshit: ACB". The Times of India. 23 September 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Who is Manjot Nayyar?: Sheila Dikshit asked on poll day, then in defeat said, 'Hum toh bewakoof hain'". Financial Express. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Delhi election results 2013: As it happened". Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Sheila Dikshit resigns as governor of Kerala". Firstpost. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Sheila Dikshit: Profile". Hindustan Times. 30 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Smt. Sheila Dikshit". Government of Delhi. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit honoured with Dara Shikoh award". Indiatoday. PTI. 11 April 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  19. ^ "'21st century is going to be the century of women'". The Hindu. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2014.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Ajay Maken
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee

10 January 2019 – present
Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Chotey Singh Yadav
Member of Parliament

31 December 1984 - 27 November 1989
Succeeded by
Chotey Singh Yadav
Government offices
Preceded by
Nikhil Kumar
Governor of Kerala
4 March 2014 - 25 August 2014
Succeeded by
P. Sathasivam
Political offices
Preceded by
Sushma Swaraj
Chief Minister of the Delhi
3 December 1998 – 28 December 2013
Succeeded by
Arvind Kejriwal