NEW DELHI: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi on Saturday remembered former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as one who stood by her side in her “darkest years” and guided her “like an elder sister”. She praised her contribution at the helm of Delhi, describing Dikshit as the “best and most effective” CM the capital has had.
Delivering the ‘Sheila Dikshit Memorial Speech’ at the Shankar Lal Auditorium, in Modern School, Gandhi said: “Rarely does history bring together compassion, statesmanship, efficiency and stamina in one person. Sheilaji was one such example in recent times. She was not one to shy away from shouldering hers, no matter what challenge she confronted… In her long years in public service, she experienced life’s ups and downs, victories and defeats. But she took it all in her stride, and responded to the call whenever it came, always keeping her sights firmly on the larger goal of making a difference,” she said.
Recounting her association with Dikshit, she said it “is longer than my political career”.
“As for myself she stood by my side in my darkest years, later urging me again and again to take on the presidentship of the Congress Party. When I did, she was there guiding me more like an elder sister than party colleague. We worked closely together when she was appointed the President of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee and then served for an unprecedented 15 years as the chief minister of Delhi,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Gandhi said in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Dikshit “stepped forward like a loyal soldier of the Party to contest” though she had not been too well.
“The city has lost its most able administrator and the party has lost one of its most committed workers… We will miss her, but we are grateful that she was among us and that her memory will continue to inspire us,” she said.