On May 25, two days after the results of Lok Sabha elections 2019, BJP leader and Delhi state president Manoj Tiwari, who won the polls from North East Delhi seat, met his losing challenger and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit to take her blessings. In less than two months since their interaction, Dikshit -- three-time Delhi chief minister and senior Congress leader – passed away at a private hospital in New Delhi after suffering a cardiac arrest on Saturday.
Remembering his last meeting with Dikshit, Tiwari said: “I remember how she welcomed me like a mother.”
Soon after her demise, Tiwari took to Twitter to pay tribite to her: “I had met her recently, it is a big shock. I remember how she welcomed me like a mother. Delhi will miss her. May God give her family and her closed ones the strength to bear this loss.”
Deeply pained to hear the sad and sudden demise of Sheila Dixit Ji Ex CM Delhi.. May God bless her soul and give her eternal peace..— Manoj Tiwari (@ManojTiwariMP) July 20, 2019
Delhi will miss you Ma’am, u were a mother figure in my life...#RIPSheilaDixit
While speaking to News Nation, Tiwari said when he reached Dikshit’s residence, she was little surprised. “Sheila ji asked me, ‘you came to meet me? Usually, the winning candidate doesn’t visit his or her losing challenger . After that, she asked me ‘for how many votes did you beat me?’”
Tiwari replied: “It is not possible to beat Sheila Dikshit. This could be a defeat of a party and its ideology.”
Tiwari, who got a total of 7,87,799 votes, won with a margin of over 3.6 lakh votes against the three-time former chief minister Sheila Dikshit in North East Delhi. Dikshit came second with 4,21,697 votes, while Aam Aadmi Party leader Dilip Pandey got a total 1,90,856 votes in the constituency.
Tiwari also recalled how much did Dikshit respect former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “She told me that how Vajpayee cleared all files on state’s development schemes despite coming from different parties,” Tiwari told News Nation.
Tiwari said he will always remember her last words to him. “We are politically opponents, but not rivals,” Dikshit had told Tiwari.
The senior Congress leader passed away on Saturday afternoon. She was 81. Dikshit breathed her last at 3.55 pm at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.
She was brought to the hospital Saturday morning in a "critical condition with cardiac arrest", a Fortis Escorts statement said.
"A multi-disciplinary team of doctors, led by Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, carried out the advanced resuscitative measures. Her condition stabilised temporarily. However, she had another cardiac arrest and despite all the resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3:55pm on July 20, 2019," it said.
The Delhi unit of the Congress said that her body has been kept at her Nizamuddin East residence and the last rites would be performed on Sunday at the Nigambodh ghat.
Dikshit was president of Delhi Congress. She served as Delhi's chief minister for 15 years from 1998-2013. Known as a warm and affable politician, Dikshit carried out massive infrastructure development of Delhi during her tenure. She also launched a number of social welfare schemes with involvement of resident welfare associations as part of her participatory model of governance.
An able administrator, Dikshit could get along well with politicians from all parties for which she drew widespread respect. She unsuccessfully fought the recent Lok Sabha elections from the North-East Delhi constituency. She represented New Delhi constituency in Delhi Vidhan Sabha.
Dikshit became an MP for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 1984. She was also a close associate of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and a minister in his cabinet. She also served as governor of Kerala.
(With PTI inputs)