‘Stateswoman extraordinaire, diplomat par excellence’: Tributes pour in for Sushma Swarajhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/former-foreign-minister-sushma-swaraj-passes-away-pm-modi-external-affairs-minster-bjp-leader-death-5883767/

‘Stateswoman extraordinaire, diplomat par excellence’: Tributes pour in for Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj, senior BJP leader, was brought to AIIMS around 9:30 pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward. AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest.

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

Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away at AIIMS on Tuesday. She was 67. Leaders from across political parties expressed shock at her passing away. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled her demise and termed it a ‘personal loss’.

The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward. AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest.

Sushma Swaraj’s last rites to be held today. Follow LIVE Updates

Expressing grief over her death, the PM tweeted: “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.”

Several senior ministers, including Harsh Vardhan, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani Prakash Javadekar, reached AIIMS after she was admitted to the hospital.

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

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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Swaraj’s death was a huge loss to the country and a personal loss to him.”She was an excellent administrator, outstanding Parliamentarian & a remarkable orator. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family members,” he tweeted.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said Swaraj despite being a politician, kept human sensibilities paramount.

Swaraj had put out a tweet in the 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.

PM Modi, in his tweets, hailed Swaraj as a “prolific orator and outstanding parliamentarian” and said she was admired and revered across party lines. “She was uncompromising when it came to matters of ideology and interests of the BJP, whose growth she immensely contributed to,” Modi said.

Read | Sushma Swaraj helped Indians in distress, played perfect foil to a visible PM

President Ram Nath Kovind also mourned over the loss. “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,” he tweeted.

Home Minister Amit Shah said she left an indelible mark in national politics. Describing her as a simple and rare politician, he said she was a strong voice of the BJP when it was in the opposition and left an indelible mark as a minister.

DMK president M K Stalin also condoled Swaraj’s death, hailing her for scaling new heights in public life with by her efficient work. Stalin tweeted, “She brought laurels by her efficient work in whatever responsibility she held.” The DMK top leader conveyed his condolences to her family and the BJP.

AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said her contribution in Indian politics would remain immortal.

“The news of passing away f Sushma Swaraj is extremely sad. Her contribution to Indian politics would remain immortal. May her soul rest in peace,” Sisodia tweeted.

Foreign dignitaries and leaders also paid their tributes.

Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran said he was “saddened by her sudden passing”.

Swaraj held the crucial External Affairs Ministry in the previous Modi Cabinet. 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.

(With PTI inputs)

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