New Delhi :
Sheila Dikshit, the three-time Chief Minister of Delhi, is now set to be the party’s Chief Ministerial face in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls due next year.
She is a renowned figure in Indian politics. Dikshit was defeated in New Delhi constituency by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who briefly replaced her as Delhi's chief minister in December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Subsequently, she was sworn in as the Governor of Kerala on 11 March 2014. However, she resigned on 25 August 2014.
A powerful leader and administrator, she was elected as Delhi’s Chief Minister thrice since 1998. There are speculations that Dikshit and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi will have a major role to play in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Born in Kapurthala, Punjab, on March 31, 1938, Dikshit studied at Convent of Jesus and Mary School and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in history from the Miranda House at the University of Delhi.
As a member of the Indian National Congress, she has a record of leading her party to three consecutive victories in New Delhi constituency in the Legislative Assembly of Delhi. Besides, Dikshit is the second lady Chief Minister of Delhi after Sushma Swaraj.
She was a teacher before she joined politics. Her husband, late Sh Vinod Dikshit, hailed from Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh. Her son Sandeep Dikshit is currently a Member of Parliament. She has one daughter, Latika Syed.
Furthermore, during 1984-1989, Dikshit represented Kannauj Parliamentary Constituency of Uttar Pradesh. She also chaired the Implementation Committee for Commemoration of Forty Years of India's Independence and Jawaharlal Nehru centenary.
In addition she has served on the 'Estimates Committee' of Lok Sabha. The lady represented India at the UN Commission on Status of Woman from 1984-1989. In 1998, Dikshit led Congress to victory in the Delhi Assembly Elections. She has been Delhi CM since then.
In 2009 Dikshit was criticized when she granted parole to Manu Sharma, who was accused of murdering Jessica Lal. She defended her decision to sign the parole papers, declaring nothing "illegal or unlawful" was done in extending the benefit to Sharma. The Delhi High Court, however, later criticised her decision.
The former Delhi Chief Minister is credited with doing a lot of development work in New Delhi. Some of her achievements include the addition of Delhi Metro to the national capital territory’s public transport system. During her government’s tenure, Delhi saw a huge infrastructure boom including flyovers and new roads, helping her gain an edge over her competitors.
Also, Journalist Association of India chose her as the Best Chief Minister in 2008. NDTV awarded her the Politician of the Year Award in 2009.