Sheila Dikshit
Sheila Dikshit Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Sheila Dikshit, an Indian politician who was New Delhi's longest-serving chief minister, has died after a prolonged illness. She was 81.

Dikshit died Saturday at a hospital in New Delhi, where she had been admitted for treatment for a heart ailment.

A veteran leader of the opposition Congress party, Dikshit served as chief minister of the capital for three consecutive terms, from 1998 to 2013.

In a tweet on Saturday, the Congress party called her a "lifelong congresswoman" who "transformed the face of Delhi."

Dikshit was elected as a member of India's Parliament in 1984, representing Uttar Pradesh state. She also served as a federal minister from 1986 to 1989.

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President Ram Nath Kovind stated "her term in office a perio d of momentous transformation for the capital for which she she will be remembered".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sheila Dikshit had made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi's development.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was shocked to hear about the death of Sheila Dikshit.

"In her death the country has lost a dedicated Congress leader of the masses. People of Delhi will always remember her contribution to Delhi's development during her tenure as CM for 3 term, " the former PM said.

Rahul Gandhi called her a beloved daughter of the Congress party and said he was devastated to hear about her death. "I shared a close personal bond with her," Rahul said on Twitter.