Didn't know it would be my last: Kejriwal recalls meeting Sheila Dikshit
Recalling his last meeting with his predecessor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "The news of the sudden demise of Mrs. Sheila Dikshit ji has shocked me
Hours after the demise of Congress stalwart Sheila Dikshit, her political opponents such as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BJP president of Delhi unit, Manoj Tiwari, on Saturday expressed grief and remembered her contribution to the development of the national capital.
While Kejriwal recalled his last meeting with Dikshit, Tiwari condoled her demise while reminiscing about her mother-like warmth.
Dikshit had served as Delhi's chief minister for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013 and was succeeded by Kejriwal.
In a tweet, Kejriwal said, "Just now got to know about extremely terrible news about the passing away of Sheila Dikshit ji. It's a huge loss for Delhi and her contribution will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to her family members. May her soul rest in peace."
Recalling his last meeting with his predecessor, Kejriwal said, "The news of the sudden demise of Mrs Sheila Dikshit ji has shocked me. Only last month I had met her for nearly an hour when she came with her party's delegation to submit a memorandum on several issues, at the end of the meeting I wished her good health, not knowing that this would be my last meeting with her."
"I came to know about Mrs Dikshit's health concerns last year when she had written to the Delhi government about her surgery requirements abroad, which was successful, but I could never imagine that she would leave us so soon," he said.
Remembering Dikshit as "warm and an affectionate person", Kejriwal said, "Though we were political rivals and our views were opposite on many issues, I found Mrs Dikshit to be warm and an affectionate person whenever we met."
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in May, Dikshit and Kejriwal had engaged in Twitter banter over the former's health.
Dikshit had even pulled up Kejriwal for spreading rumours about her health.
"Why are you spreading rumours about my health. If you have nothing to do, then come over and have food at my place. You can also see how my health is, have food and also learn to fight elections without spreading rumours," she tweeted in Hindi.
Following her comment, a verbal battle ensued between the two political heavyweights on Twitter.
"When did I talk about your health? Never. My family has taught me to respect the elderly. May God give you good health and long life" said Kejriwal.
In another tweet, the AAP national convener had said, "When you were going abroad for your treatment, I came to your house to ask about your health, without you inviting me. Tell me when to come to your home to eat?"
This came after various pages on Facebook spread rumours that Dikshit was admitted to a hospital, a day before polls in the national capital.
Meanwhile, Tiwari, while speaking to ANI, said "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."
Dikshit, who died at 3.55 pm at a hospital in Delhi, is credited for the national capital's growing infrastructure including roads and flyovers and better public transport system.
The hospital, in a statement, said despite all resuscitative efforts, Dikshit died after a cardiac arrest.
The Congress stalwart's mortal remains have arrived at her home in Delhi's Nizamuddin East, and her last rites will take place tomorrow.
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