Sheila Dikshit: Bucking anti-incumbency
Her third successive win reflects Delhi's faith in her administration
Sheila Dikshit has become the only chief minister of Delhi to enter into a third successive
term. In the 123-year history of the Congress, she is the third chief minister to have this
record after Vasantrao Naik of Maharashtra (1963-75) and Mohan Lal Sukhadia of Rajasthan (1954-71). Congress, led by Dikshit, won 42 out of 69 seats in the Assembly elections. Throughout the campaign, Dikshit remained the face of Congress. She was born in a non-political family in Punjab's
Kapurthala district in 1938. After her graduation from Miranda House, she got her post-graduate degree in history from Delhi University.
Her lessons in politics came after her marriage with IAS
officer Vinod Dikshit, the son of former Union Minister and
Governor Uma Shankar Dikshit. Her acumen in administrative and legislative matters helped
her to get involved in politics after the 1969 split in the Congress party.
Elected from the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat of Uttar Pradesh in 1984, she became a minister in
Rajiv Gandhi's government after two years. She started as Minister of State for Parliamentary
Affairs and later got additional charge in the Prime Minister's Office.
She represented India at United Nations Commission on Status of Women for five years
(1984-1989). As President of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, she led her party to a
sweeping victory in the Assembly elections in 1998. This was the beginning of her first term
as the Chief Minister of Delhi.
Improving urban governance would be her priority in her third term. Delhi has grown fast and
the provision of civic amenities has not kept pace. Affordable transportation is another issue.
The road transport system is likely to be modified using public private participation to replace
the regime of private buses. She had asked for tenders for the transport pooling system
modelled on the Indore transport system, under which a single corporate entity would own
one pool of routes and hence would be more accountable.
Her biggest challenge will be the Commonwealth Games which are slated to take place in