Friday, Jun 09, 2023

Sushma Swaraj, Ex-Foreign Minister And BJP Leader, Dies At 67; Cremation With Full State Honors Today

Sushma Swaraj, Ex-Foreign Minister And BJP Leader, Dies At 67; Cremation With Full State Honors Today

Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night. She was 67.

Former Foreign Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj File Photo

Former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night. She was 67.

The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30 pm and taken to the emergency ward.

According to doctors at AIIMS, Swaraj was feeling restless at 9 pm and reached the hospital at around 9:30 pm in an ambulance. "A team of doctors tried to revive her for 70 to 80 minutes but failed in their attempt. Swaraj was declared dead at 10:50 pm."

AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest.

Her mortal remains have been kept at her residence for people to pay last respects. Her mortal remains will be brought to BJP headquarters at 12 pm.

At 3 pm, she will be taken to Lodhi road crematorium, where her last rites will be performed with full state honours,

The Delhi government had declared a two-day mourning in the national capital as a mark of respect for Swaraj,

Leaders across party lines reached to Swaraj's residence to their last respects to her.  

President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed grief and said: "Extremely shocked to hear of the passing of Smt Sushma Swaraj. The country has lost a much-loved leader who epitomised dignity, courage & integrity in public life. Ever willing to help others, she will always be remembered for her service to the people of India." 

"A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end. India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor. Sushma Swaraj ji was one of her kind, who was a source of inspiration for crores of people," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a series of tweets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tweets, hailed Swaraj as a "prolific orator and outstanding parliamentarian" and said she was admired and revered across party lines.

Several senior ministers, including Harsh Vardhan, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani Prakash Javadekar, reached AIIMS after she was admitted to the hospital. Envoys from Russia and Israel also paid their tributes. 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was deeply shocked and anguished by the sudden demise of an extremely valued colleague.

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani broke down as they reached Swaraj 's residence to pay tributes.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, "Deeply shocked to learn of the passing away of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Difficult to accept this news. The whole nation grieves, the Foreign Ministry even more so."

Also Read | Sushma Swaraj: The Woman Who Stood Tall Amongst Giants

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also condoled her demise.

"I’m shocked to hear about the demise of Sushma Swaraj Ji, an extraordinary political leader, a gifted orator & an exceptional Parliamentarian, with friendships across party lines. My condolences to her family in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace. Om Shanti," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa has expressed condolences at the demise of India’s former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, describing her as an "extraordinary" woman and leader who devoted her life to public service.

Swaraj had a kidney transplant in 2016 and had opted out of contesting Lok Sabha polls earlier this year for health reasons.

She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri.

Swaraj was appointed the foreign minister in the first term of Modi government in 2014. She opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons. During her tenure, the BJP leader had been active and popular on Twitter reaching out to the Indian diaspora in distress for assistance. 

Swaraj had put out a tweet on Tuesday evening congratulating Prime Modi after the Centre's move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament's approval.

"Narendra Modi ji - Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime," she had said.

 In Pics | Sushma Swaraj (1952 - 2019)