Sheila Dikshit

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Sheila Dikshit
Sheila Dikshit Chief Minister of Delhi India2.jpg
Governor of Kerala
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 March 2014
Preceded by Nikhil Kumar
6th Chief Minister of Delhi
In office
3 December 1998 – 28 December 2013
Preceded by Sushma Swaraj
Succeeded by Arvind Kejriwal
Member of Legislative Assembly
New Delhi
Gole Market (1998–2008)
In office
03 December 1998 – 28 December 2013
Preceded by Kirti Azad
Succeeded by Arvind Kejriwal
Member of Parliament
Kannauj
In office
1984–89
Preceded by Chhotey Singh Yadav
Succeeded by Chhotey Singh Yadav
Member of Indian delegation
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
In office
1984–89
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Personal details
Born (1938-03-31) 31 March 1938 (age 76)
Kapurthala, Punjab Province, British India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Vinod Dixit
Children Sandeep Dikshit, Latika Dikshit Syed
Alma mater Miranda House, University of Delhi
Religion Hinduism
As of 13 August, 2012
Source: Government of Delhi

Sheila Dikshit (née Kapoor;[1] Hindi: शीला दीक्षित; born 31 March 1938) is an Indian politician, serving as the Governor of Kerala since March 2014. Previously, as a member of the Indian National Congress, she had served as Chief Minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2013.

Dikshit led the Congress to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi. She was criticised for her lack of control over law enforcement, leading to rise of crime in Delhi. In December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Dikshit was defeated in New Delhi constituency by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who briefly replaced her as Delhi's chief minister. Subsequently, she was sworn-in as Kerala Governor on 11 March 2014.

Early years[edit]

Sheila Dikshit was born on March 31, 1938 in Kapurthala, Punjab into a Punjabi Khatri family.[2] 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.[3]

Political career[edit]

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 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 November 2013, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has declared assets whose value has more than doubled during the past five years, reaching around Rs 2.7 crore. Dikshit's owns an apartment in Nizamuddin East worth around 98 lakh but does not own any vehicle. In her income tax return for 2012–2013, she has shown a total income of around 13 lakh. According to Dikshit's affidavit filed before 2008 assembly election, Dikshit had Rs 1.3 crore in moveable and immoveable properties. She had mentioned Rs 67 lakh in cash and deposits and Rs 63 lakh worth flat in Nizamuddin East.[4]

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.[5][6] She resigned on 8 December 2013, but remained the care-taker Chief Minister of Delhi till the new Government was sworn in on 28 December 2013.

Contributions[edit]

She represented India on the U.N. Commission on Status of Women for five years (1984–1989). 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 most successful hostels for working women in Delhi. She is also the Secretary of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.[citation needed].

Controversies[edit]

Corruption accusations[edit]

In 2009, Delhi Lokayukta investigated a complaint filed by advocate Sunita Bhardwaj, a BJP worker, saying that Dikshit misused Rs 3.5 crore 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 nearing a verdict with the final arguments having begun.

Dikshit has 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 August 2013 the obdusmen 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.[9]

Commonwealth Games[edit]

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 PK Tripathi stated that the Chief Minister played no part in awarding contracts for street lighting in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games.[10]

Parole to Manu Sharma[edit]

On November 2009, Dikshit came under criticism for granting parole to Manu Sharma after media reports of him visiting night clubs in Delhi emerged. Manu Sharma is accused of murdering Jessica Lal and is serving 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."[11] Dikshit pointed out Delhi Lt governor paving way for Sharma's parole.[11]

Delhi Rape Case[edit]

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's remark in the Assembly on Friday said that only one gang-rape in the city in December last year had prompted her government to launch the 181 helpline drew sharp criticism with BJP saying it reflected her "insensitivity" towards women. In the midst of deep grief over the death of the gang-rape victim at a Singapore hospital, controversial and derogatory statements by some politicians continue to spark outrage among the public.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "theek hai" remark, which was made at the end of his address to the nation over the Delhi gang-rape incident, drew intense criticism from the public. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit repeated the blunder with her "It's okay" remark after her statement to reporters condoling the death of the young medical student.[12]

It is said that her remarks regarding this case and her weak attitude led to her defeat in the elections in 2013, where she not only lost her chief minister-ship but also her MLA seat.[13]

Personal Life[edit]

Dikshit was married to late Vinod Dikshit from Unnao, UP, who was as an officer in the Indian Administrative Service.[14] Sheila Dikshit has a son, Sandeep Dikshit, and a daughter, Latika Syed. Sandeep Dikshit, a representative of the Indian National Congress, was a Member of Parliament of the 15th Lok Sabha of India.

Lifestyle[edit]

She was criticised for her lavish lifestyle. An official response to an RTI query said Dikshit's residence on 3-Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi which she has been using during her stint as chief minister, had at least 31 air conditioners, 15 desert coolers, 25 heaters, 16 air purifiers, 12 geysers among others. This was at a time when the people of the state was reeling under power shortages.[15]

Awards and recognition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rajesh Ramachandran (2013-10-23). "In Delhi, BJP bets on surgeon to take on techie crusader | Business Line". Thehindubusinessline.com. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  2. ^ http://archives.digitaltoday.in/indiatoday/20031215/state_delhi.html
  3. ^ "Sheila Dikshit: Profile". Express India. 10 December 2003. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Delhi: Sheila Dikshit has assets worth Rs 2.7 crore". Ibnlive.in.com. 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  5. ^ "Who is Arvind Kejriwal?: Sheila Dikshit asked on poll day, then in defeat said, 'Hum toh bewakoof hain'". Financial Express. 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  6. ^ "Delhi election results 2013: As it happened". Zeenews.india.com. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Censure Dikshit, Delhi lokayukta to President of India". Hindustan Times. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Sheila Dikshit questions Lokayukta's power". Times of India. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  9. ^ TNN Sep 1, 2013, 12.43AM IST (2013-09-01). "Court orders FIR against Sheila Dikshit - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  10. ^ "Commonwealth Games fiasco: Government's auditor faults Sheila too". 3 August 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Nothing illegal or unlawful in Manu Sharma parole: Sheila Dikshit". 28 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  12. ^ http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/419225/20121230/delhi-gang-rape-case-controversial-statements-politicians.htm
  13. ^ http://zeenews.india.com/news/delhi/sheila-dikshit-rape-remark-in-assembly-draws-flak_873036.html
  14. ^ "Smt. Sheila Dikshit". Government of Delhi. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "31 air conditioners were installed at Sheila Dikshit's official residence as Chief Minister". The Economic Times. PTI. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit honoured with Dara Shikoh award". Indiatoday. PTI. 11 Apr 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "‘21st century is going to be the century of women’". The Hindu. 24 Jul 2013. Retrieved 4 Jul 2014. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Nikhil Kumar
Governor of Kerala
4 March 2014 - Continuing
Succeeded by
Current Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Sushma Swaraj
Chief Minister of the Delhi
1998–2013
Succeeded by
Arvind Kejriwal