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Sushma Swaraj funeral; latest updates: Ex-minister cremated with State honours in Delhi as top NDA leaders bid farewell

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Sushma Swaraj funeral; latest updates: Ex-minister cremated with State honours in Delhi as top NDA leaders bid farewell
  • 16:47 (IST)

    WATCH | Narendra Modi, Venkaiah Naidu and others leave after Sushma Swaraj's cremation

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu left the Lodhi crematorium premises after Sushma Swaraj was cremated with State honours.

  • 16:30 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj cremated with State honours

    Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has been cremated with State honours at Lodhi Crematorium. Top dignitaries and others who came to the crematorium to pay their respects are now vacating the premises.

  • 16:27 (IST)

    Mortal remains taken for cremation

    The mortal remains of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj have been taken for cremation in Delhi's Lodhi crematorium.

  • 16:22 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj would've picked a green sari today

    The Times of India reported that Sushma Swaraj had told a reporter in 2009 that she had a fixed colour for her attire for every day of the week. The colour green was fixed for Wednesday. “Politicians do not have much time at their disposal... Hence, I have developed my own wardrobe management. My clothes are arranged according to colours,” she was quoted as saying.

  • 16:06 (IST)

    Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh lay wreath

    Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, and LK Advani were among the top politicians who laid wreath during the last rites ceremony as Sushma Swaraj was accorded a State funeral.

  • 15:54 (IST)

    Bansuri Swaraj performs last rites

    Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri performed the last rites at the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi.

  • 15:50 (IST)

    Mortal remains brought to Lodhi crematorium

    Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains have been brought to the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi from the BJP headquarters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and former Bhutan prime minister Tshering Tobgay are present at the crematorium.

  • 15:44 (IST)

    Bal Thackeray once backed Swaraj for PM's post: Sanjay Raut
     
    Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut paid tributes to Sushma Swaraj and recalled that she was Bal Thackeray's first choice as the prime ministerial contender, when current Prime Minister Narendra Modi had still not emerged on the national scene and was active in Gujarat politics.
     
    "Balasaheb saw her as a firm leader. She had thanked him for blessing her. Such was their relationship," Raut told a regional news channel.
     

  • 15:33 (IST)

    Mortal remains being taken from BJP headquarters to Lodhi crematorium

  • 15:24 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj's family salute her as State hounours are accorded to her

     

    Bansuri Swaraj and Swaraj Kaushal, daughter and husband of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, paid salute as state honours are accorded to her. 

  • 15:16 (IST)

    Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda among BJP leaders to shoulder former minister's mortal remains

     Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains being taken for last rites. Among BJP top brass, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad and party working president JP Nadda were seen shouldering the departed leader's remains. 

  • 15:00 (IST)

    Dalai Lama offers condolence on Sushma Swaraj's death 

    "I offer my prayers and my condolences at this difficult time. Sushma Swaraj enjoyed immense respect for her compassionate concern for people and her friendly demeanour. In devoting herself to service of others, she led a very meaningful life," the Dalai Lama said. 

  • 14:56 (IST)

    Ex-EAM's body wrapped in Tricolour, will be moved to Delhi's Lodhi crematorium shortly

    Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj wrapped in Tricolour at BJP headquarters in Delhi. Her remains will shortly be moved to the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi.   

  • 14:39 (IST)

    Manmohan Singh says 'fond memories' of Sushma Swaraj as leader of Opposition

     

    Former prime minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock at the demise of senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, describing her as a "great parliamentarian" and an exceptionally-talented Union minister.
     
    "I was shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj. I have fond memories of my association with her when she was Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha," Singh said in his condolence message.
     
    The former prime minister said Swaraj was highly respected by everybody irrespective of party lines. "She was a great Parliamentarian and exceptionally talented Minister of the Union Government. In her death our country has lost a respected and dedicated leader," he said.

  • 14:34 (IST)

    BJP workers gather at party headquarters to pay last respects to Sushma

     

    BJP workers and mourners on Wednesday gathered in large numbers at the party headquarters on Wednesday to pay their last respects to Sushma Swaraj, veteran leader, former external affairs minister and also "didi" to many of them.
     
    Some cried inconsolably and others fought back their tears as top party leaders, including BJP president Amit Shah and working president JP Nadda paid their tributes.

  • 14:30 (IST)

    India Inc mourns Sushma Swaraj's death

    India Inc on Wednesday mourned the death of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, describing her as a fiery orator and a great leader who inspired the nation.

    "India has lost a great leader. Your contribution to the nation is an inspiration. RIP Sushma Swaraj," Adani Group chairman, Gautam Adani tweeted.
     
    Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said a "glorious chapter" in Indian politics had come to an end with the 'sudden and sad' passing away of Sushma Swaraj. "A fiery orator who could spellbind public and equally make a forceful case of India in the UN General Assembly on terrorism, she was a politician of all hues.
     
    "I had the privilege of knowing her in my formative years in the mobile industry as she took charge of the telecom ministry at a very critical time. She grasped the complex issues in a remarkably short period and delivered some key and transformative policies," Mittal said. 
     
    In a tweet, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said: "... RIP Mother India...You carry with you the affection of over a billion people". 

  • 14:26 (IST)

    Geeta, who was helped by Sushma Swaraj to return from Pakistan to India, says she has lost a 'guardian'

    Geeta, the hearing and speech-impaired woman who returned to India from Pakistan in 2015 following extensive efforts by Sushma Swaraj, on Wednesday said she has lost a "guardian" and "motherly figure" in the death of the former external affairs minister.

     
    A tearful Geeta, through sign language, said Swaraj used to be concerned about her well-being "like a mother". Swaraj, who died in New Delhi on Tuesday night after a massive cardiac arrest at the age of 67, had a deep emotional attachment with Geeta.
     
    In November last year, the then external affairs minister described Geeta as "Hindustan ki deti" (daughter of India), and said "even if she does not meet her family, she will never be sent back to Pakistan. The Indian government will foster her."

  • 14:24 (IST)

    Sonia Gandhi writes to Swaraj Kaushal, says Sushma established 'warm rapport' with people

    Congress Parliamentary Committee chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday wrote to Sushma Swaraj's husband, Swaraj Kaushal, extending condolences regarding the demise of the former minister.

  • 14:20 (IST)

    Jaya Prada condoles Sushma Swaraj's death, says she was a 'mother, sister'

    BJP leader Jaya Prada condoled former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's death and said that she had done "a lot" for the country.

    "We called her ‘didi’ and today she is no more with us. She was a mother, a sister, a huge politician and a great orator as well. She did a lot for the country, especially for the poor. We have lost a great, honest and a remarkable leader," she said.

  • 14:06 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj passes away after cardiac arrest: Patients of renal failure 10 times more likely to suffer loss of heart function

    Sushma Swaraj died after a cardiac arrest late Tuesday.  In 2016, the veteran politician had suffered kidney failure and had undergone a transplant. Research shows that people with kidney problems are more likely to have a sudden cardiac event than a prolonged heart disease. In 'Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality after kidney transplantation', published in the peer-reviewed journal Transplant International, researchers Sokratis Stoumpos, Alan G Jardine and Patrick B Mark wrote: “Presumed arrhythmic, cardiac death rather than myocardial infarction (MI) is the predominant mode of CV mortality (in patients with end stage renal disease).” 

  • 13:42 (IST)

    Come and collect your Re 1 fee tomorrow: Sushma Swaraj to Harish Salve an hour before her death

    An hour before her death on Tuesday night, former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj reportedly called Harish Salve, the India counsel in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case to pay him his token fee of Re 1. Salve represented India at the International Court of Justice in The Hague recently pro bono and agreed to take a token Re 1 fees.

    Speaking to News18, Salve said, "Sushma Swaraj ji was an elder sister. I was simply stunned yesterday on hearing about her demise. At 8:45 pm I had a talk with her. She said 'you have to come and take your fees of Re 1 for Jadhav case'. Just 10 min post that, she suffered from a cardiac arrest" 

  • 13:36 (IST)

    Former CEC SY Quraishi mourns death of Sushma Swaraj

    I feel devastated to hear the sad news about passing on of  Sushma Swaraj. Ever since she became  my minister in 1977 in Haryana (youngest minister in the country), she had been very fond of me. She brought me as DG Doordarshan. Always a pillar of support.  I love you ma’am! RIP

    When she chose to retire from active politics, she told me that doctors had advised her to avoid dust and public physical contact which wasn’t possible as an MP.  She looked happy and relieved. Always a fantastic speaker and even better listener. Rest in peace ma’am.

  • 13:28 (IST)

    Delhi loses three chief ministers in three years

    With Sushma Swaraj's demise on Tuesday night, the national capital has lost three former chief ministers in less than a year. Swaraj, who was the chief minister of Delhi for a brief period from October-December 1998, passed away on Tuesday night due to cardiac arrest.

     
    Three-time chief minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away in July this year due to cardiac arrest.​ Diskhit and Swaraj died within a month.​ Madan Lal Khurana, who was the chief minister from 1993-96, also passed away in October last year. 

  • 13:08 (IST)

    The many lives Sushma Swaraj touched: Geeta pays moving tribute, Zainab Bi breaks down remembering her

     

    Sarabjit Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur expressed her shock and grief at the death of Sushma Swaraj. "Could not believe that she would leave us so soon, still can't. It's a huge loss for the entire country. She always helped people. Whether it was Hamid Ansari, Sarabjit, Geeta or Jadhav, she helped all. May her soul rest in peace," she said.

    Zainab Bi, who was rescued from Saudi Arabia when late #SushmaSwaraj was External Affairs Minister, broke down while remembering her. Geeta, who was brought back from Pakistan in 2015 when late Sushma Swaraj was External Affairs Minister, paid tributes to the leader. 

  • 13:00 (IST)

    Ex-EAM's remains reach party headquarters; body to be kept for public viewing till 3 pm

    Sushma Swaraj died late Tuesday night at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after suffering a cardiac attack, doctors said. She was 67. The body will be kept at the party headquarters till 3 pm for people to pay their respects on Wednesday after which it will be taken to the Lodhi Crematorium for the last rites, Nadda told reporters at the hospital.

  • 12:57 (IST)

    Amit Shah, JP Nadda review preparations at BJP headquarters

     

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP Working President J P Nadda and other leaders reviewed preparations at the BJP headquaters before the mortal remains of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj were brought there, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

  • 12:50 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains being taken to BJP headquarters

  • 12:42 (IST)

    Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong condoles Sushma Swaraj's death

    "Sad to learn about the passing away of Sushma Swaraj, former Minister of External Affairs of India. Appreciate her contributions to China-India relations. Express my deep condolences to her family," Sun tweeted. 

  • 12:36 (IST)

    Geeta, deaf and mute girl brought back from Pakistan, pays moving tribute to ex-EAM

    Geeta, who was brought back from Pakistan in 2015 when late Sushma Swaraj was External Affairs Minister, pays tribute to the leader.

  • 12:27 (IST)

    From a prolific student to ace NCC cadet, Sushma Swaraj's stellar educational record gives insight into her multifaceted personality 

    One of the reasons, Sushma Swaraj was so closely respected by her colleagues and opponents was because of her deep knowledge about a range of subjects. She completed her graduation from Sanatan Dharma College of Ambala Cantonment and got her bachelor’s degree with honours in Political Science and Sanskrit.

    Then, she did a degree course in LLB from the Department of Laws of the Punjab University in Chandigarh. In 1970, she received the best student award from SD College, Ambala Cantonment. Sushma had also won the title of the best cadet of NCC at SD College for three years in a row.

    Recalling an instance that demonstrated Sushma's extraordinary intelligence, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said that Sushma ji managed to learn operable Kannada within 15 days when she wanted to contest elections from Karnataka. 

  • 11:53 (IST)

    LK Advani, daughter Pratibha break down after meeting Swaraj Kaushal, Bansuri

    Senior BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha had an emotional moment when they reached at Sushma Swaraj's residence to pay her their last respects, Advani was seen consoling Swaraj Kaushal, Sushma's husband. 

  • 11:42 (IST)

    HD Deve Gowda writes to Swaraj Kaushal, offers condolence to berieved family 

    Former prime minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda wrote a letter to Swaraj Kaushal, husband of late former Union minister SushmaSawraj. "My heartfelt condolences to the family. I pray the almighty to give your benign self, all the family members, followers and well-wishers the strength to overcome this tragedy," Gowda's letter was quoted in ANI. 

  • 11:37 (IST)

    I have lost a valuable sister in Sushma Swaraj, says RS Chairman Venkaiah Naidu

    "I have lost a valuable sister in Sushma Swaraj. We have lost an able administrator and MP," Venkaiah Naidu said. He said that she would tie Rakhi on my wrist every year. "Her demise a personal loss for me," Naidu said. 

  • 11:19 (IST)

    When Sushma Swaraj weighed in on Article 370 in a fiery speech 

  • 11:13 (IST)

    Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik expresses grief over Sushma Swaraj's demise 

    "I express grief over the sudden demise of former Union Minister and veteran political leader Sushma Swaraj. It's difficult to fill the space left by her. I pray for peace to departed soul and strength to the bereaved family in their hour of grief"

  • 11:05 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi pays last respects

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached at Sushma Swaraj's residence, where her body has been kept. Rahul paid his respects to the departed leader. Yesterday, Rahul had expressed shock at her sudden 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," Rahul tweeted.  

  • 10:58 (IST)

    Country will never forget her many contribution​s: Amit Shah

     

    BJP national president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah recalled his long association with Sushma Swaraj after her sudden demise as he reached at her residence to pay his last respect. Shah said that Swaraj's death has created an incurable void within the party as the late leader was unmatched in her hardwork, talent and commitment towards the party. Shah remembered her as a hard working MP, who made sure that 'Narendra Modi's message was delivered across the world as the Foreign Affairs Minister'. "The country will never forget her many contributions," he said. 

  • 10:49 (IST)

    Amit Shah pays his respects 

    After Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Ravi Shankar Prasad and other senior BJP leaders, home minister Amit Shah paid his respects to Sushma Swaraj. Shah had tweeted his condolences last night. "The mind is deeply saddened by the sudden demise of former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader and Member of Parliamentary Board, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj. He has left an indelible mark in Indian politics in various forms such as an ardent speaker, an ideal activist, popular public representative and a working minister."

  • 10:32 (IST)

    Even though our ideologies differed, we shared many cordial times in Parliament: Mamata Banerjee
     

    Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee remembered Sushma Swaraj and said, "Deeply saddened, shocked at the sudden passing away of Sushma Swaraj Ji.I knew her since the 1990s. Even though our ideologies differed, we shared many cordial times in Parliament. An outstanding politician, leader, good human being.Will miss her.Condolences to her family/admirers."

  • 10:32 (IST)

    One of India’s most respected leaders: French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler 

    French Ambassdor to India, Alexandre Ziegler condoled the death, saying, "My heartfelt condolences to the family & loved ones of former EAM of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji. One of India’s most respected leaders, she showed remarkable dedication to serving her fellow citizens & took the Indo-French relationship to new heights."

  • 10:27 (IST)

    Extraordinary woman & leader who devoted her life to public service: UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés on Sushma Swaraj

    UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés expressed her condolences.

    "Saddened by the news of the passing of @SushmaSwaraj, an extraordinary woman & leader who devoted her life to public service. I had the honor of meeting her in my visits to #India, & will always remember her fondly. My deepest condolences to all of her loved ones @IndiaUNNewYork," she said.

  • 10:22 (IST)

    Advani pays his last respects to Sushma

    Calling her death 'untimely' in a long condolence letter, veteran BJP leader LK Advani said, "Sushmaji was someone who I have known and worked with since the beginning of her illustrious innings in the Bharatiya Janata Party. When I was the President of the BJP in the eighties, she was a promising young activist who I had inducted into my team. And over the years, she became one of the most popular and prominent leaders of our party — in fact, a role model for women leaders."

  • 10:18 (IST)

    Ram Gopal Yadav cries after paying his respects to Sushma Swaraj

    Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav was seen weeping when he went to pay his last respects to the veteran BJP leader. Apart from the SP leader, prominent ministers and leaders across all parties, including senior BJP leaders like LK Advani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, chief minister BS Yediyurappa, and others paid their respects to the beloved leader. 

    BJP national working president JP Nadda also paid his respects. Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav also reached Swaraj residence to pay his respects. Swaraj's body will be kept at the BJP HQ for thee hours before her cremation at 3 pm today. 

  • 10:10 (IST)

    WATCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays his last respects to Sushma Swaraj

  • 09:59 (IST)

    Emotional Modi pays his respects to Sushma Swaraj

    An emotional prime minister paid his last respects to the former Union minister. Solemn-looking Narendra Modi reached Sushma Swaraj's Delhi residence and met the grieving family. In a series of tweets, Modi hailed Swaraj as an "uncompromising leader" when it came to matters of ideology. 

    "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," Modi said in a series of tweets. He hailed her as a "prolific orator and outstanding parliamentarian" and said she was admired and revered across party lines.

    "An excellent administrator, Sushma Ji set high standards in every ministry she handled. She played a key role in bettering India's ties with various nations. As a minister we also saw her compassionate side, helping fellow Indians," Modi said.

  • 09:51 (IST)

    She was like a mother to me: Hamid Ansari

    Detained and arrested six years ago after he went to Pakistan to meet a woman he had befriended through social media, Hamid Ansari also remembered the former foreign minister. 

    "I have deep respect for her and she'll always stay alive in my heart. She was like a mother to me. After my return from Pakistan, she guided me to look ahead. It's a big loss for me," he said. 

    Ansari returned to India on 18 December, 2018, after completing a three-year prison sentence in a Pakistani jail.

  • 09:25 (IST)

    Advani remembers Sushma: A brilliant orator, I was often amazed at her eloquence

    Senior BJP leader L K Advani, who played a major role in guiding and mentoring Sushma Swaraj, wrote a condolence letter in her memory. 

    "I am deeply distressed at the untimely demise of one of my closest colleague, Sushma Swaraj ji. 

    Sushmaji was someone who I have known and worked with since the beginning of her illustrious innings in the Bharatiya Janata Party. When I was the President of the BJP in the eighties, she was a promising young activist who I had inducted into my team. And over the years, she became one of the most popular and prominent leaders of our party — in fact, a role model for women leaders. A brilliant orator, I was often amazed at her ability to recall incidents, events and present them with utmost clarity and eloquence. 

    Sushmaji was also a fine human being. She touched everyone with her warmth and compassionate nature. I do not recall a single year when she missed bringing my favourite chocolate cake on my birthday. 

    The nation has lost a remarkable leader. To me, it is an irreparable loss and I will miss Sushmaji’s presence immensely. May her soul rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to Swaraj ji, Bansuri and all members of her family. Om Shanti."

  • 09:10 (IST)

    Inspiration for countless women, Didi's death has shocked us all: Smriti Irani


    "Inspiration of numerous women activists Didi's sudden demise shocked us all. Today, I express my sympathy to her heartbroken family. If we dedicate our lives to the upliftment of women as an activist, it will be a true tribute to Didi," tweeted Union minister Smriti Irani.

  • 08:38 (IST)

    Delhi announces 2-day State mourning for former CM

    The Delhi government will observe two-day State mourning as a mark of respect in memory of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was quoted as saying. 

  • 08:36 (IST)

    Thank you Prime Minister... I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime: Sushma Swaraj's last tweet

     
     
    Just hours before her demise, BJP stalwart Sushma Swaraj Tuesday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the government revoked the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, saying "I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime".  Taking to Twitter on Tuesday evening, Swaraj said: "@narendramodi ji - Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime."
     
     
    This last tweet of Swaraj and the words used by her left scores of her supporters and admirers in shock and grief. This was her second tweet in as many days lauding the government over the move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union territories.


Sushma Swaraj funeral; LATEST updates: Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has been cremated with State honours at Lodhi Crematorium in Delhi. Top dignitaries and others who came to the crematorium to pay their respects are now vacating the premises.

Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains have been brought to the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi from the BJP headquarters. Her daughter Bansuri performed the last rites.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha had an emotional moment when they reached at Sushma Swaraj's residence to pay her their last respects, Advani was seen consoling Swaraj Kaushal, Sushma's husband.

Rajya Sabha condoled the death of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Remembering her, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said that her demise was a personal loss to him and that she used to tie him rakhi. He said, "Destiny has snatched away reassuring, contagious smile from our midst."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached at Sushma Swaraj's residence, where her body has been kept. Rahul paid his respects to the departed leader. Yesterday, Rahul had expressed shock at her sudden demise.

Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee remembered Sushma Swaraj and said, "Deeply saddened, shocked at the sudden passing away of Sushma Swaraj Ji.I knew her since the 1990s. Even though our ideologies differed, we shared many cordial times in Parliament. An outstanding politician, leader, good human being.Will miss her.Condolences to her family/admirers."

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav was seen weeping when he went to pay his last respects to the veteran BJP leader. Apart from the SP leader, prominent ministers and leaders across all parties, including senior BJP leaders like LK Advani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, chief minister BS Yediyurappa, and others paid their respects to the beloved leader.

BJP national working president JP Nadda also paid his respects. Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav also reached Swaraj residence to pay his respects. Swaraj's body will be kept at the BJP HQ for thee hours before her cremation at 3 pm today.

An emotional prime minister paid his last respects to the former Union minister. Solemn-looking Narendra Modi reached Sushma Swaraj's Delhi residence and met the grieving family. In a series of tweets, Modi hailed Swaraj as an "uncompromising leader" when it came to matters of ideology.

"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," Modi said in a series of tweets. He hailed her as a "prolific orator and outstanding parliamentarian" and said she was admired and revered across party lines.

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani, who handpicked Sushma Swaraj and played a major role in guiding and mentoring her, wrote a long condolence letter in her memory. "I am deeply distressed at the untimely demise of one of my closest colleague, Sushma Swaraj ji. Sushmaji was someone who I have known and worked with since the beginning of her illustrious innings in the Bharatiya Janata Party. When I was the President of the BJP in the eighties, she was a promising young activist who I had inducted into my team. And over the years, she became one of the most popular and prominent leaders of our party — in fact, a role model for women leaders. A brilliant orator, I was often amazed at her ability to recall incidents, events and present them with utmost clarity and eloquence. Sushmaji was also a fine human being. She touched everyone with her warmth and compassionate nature. I do not recall a single year when she missed bringing my favourite chocolate cake on my birthday. The nation has lost a remarkable leader. To me, it is an irreparable loss and I will miss Sushmaji’s presence immensely. May her soul rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to Swaraj ji, Bansuri and all members of her family. Om Shanti."

The Delhi government will observe two-day State mourning as a mark of respect in memory of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was quoted as saying.

The body of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj will be kept for three hours at the BJP headquarters on Wednesday for people to pay tributes, BJP working president J P Nadda said. Swaraj died late Tuesday night at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after suffering a cardiac attack, doctors said. She was 67.

The mortal remains of Sushma Swaraj were being taken from AIIMS to her residence in Delhi, where they will be kept overnight. The body will be taken to the BJP headquarters at 12 pm on Wednesday for the party workers and leaders to pay their tributes. The last rites will be held after 3 pm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying that a 'glorious chapter in Indian politics' had come to an end with the demise of Sushma Swaraj.

BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday after she was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on suffering a heart attack.

Her condition was said to be critical at the time of admission. Union ministers Harsh Vardhan and Nitin Gadkari reached the hospital late on Tuesday.

Swaraj had in 2018 announced her decision to opt out from contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha election due to health reasons. She was serving her fourth term in the House at the time of the announcement.

Swaraj began her political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Emergency in 1977. That year, at the age of 25, she joined the Haryana government as education minister, thus, becoming the country's youngest Cabinet minister.

Swaraj was also Delhi's first female chief minister, holding that post from 13 October, 1998, to 3 December, 1998. In 2007, she notched yet another achievement, becoming the first woman to be given the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. Incidentally, she received the award from Pratibha Patil, India's first female president.

Updated Date: Aug 07, 2019 18:04:45 IST