Sushma Swaraj passes away: Modi, Advani, Amit Shah, Smriti Irani offer condolences; last rites to be held at Lodhi crematorium

  • Former External Affairs minister and veteran BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away in Delhi on Tuesday night due to a cardiac arrest

  • Prime Ministr Narendra Modi remembered Sushma Swaraj as 'a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor'

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed her demise a monumental loss and remembered her as a seasoned parliamentarian who was widely respected across party lines

Former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away in Delhi Tuesday night after suffering cardiac arrest.

The mortal remains of Sushma Swaraj are being taken from AIIMS to her residence in Delhi, where it 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 remains will then be taken to Lodhi Road crematorium, where the last rites will be held.

As the news of her death spread, reactions poured in on social media with leaders from BJP as well as Opposition camp offering condolences.

Prime Minister Narendra confirmed her death on Twitter, saying a "glorious chapter in Indian politics has come to an end". In a series of tweets, Modi remembered Swaraj as "a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor". He tweeted:

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 (sic)," she had said.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani in a statement, reminisced about Swaraj's transition from an activist to being the country's foreign minister and called her 'a role model for women leaders.'

Home minister Amit Shah called her demise an 'irreparable loss to BJP and Indian politics' and on behalf of the BJP party, condoled her death.

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

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.

FOLLOW LATEST UPDATES HERE

Defence Minister Rajnath termed her demise a "monumental loss" and remembered her as a seasoned parliamentarian who was widely respected across party lines. He also lauded the work she had done as the external affairs minister. "Sushmaji rose through the ranks to become the External Affairs Minister of India. During her tenure as the foreign affairs minister, she introduced a new sensitivity and sensibility in the functioning of the MEA. She was known as the people’s minister," Singh 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," President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

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."

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla offered his condolences to Swaraj's family and said that despite being a politician, she had always kept her human sensibilities paramount. While former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan remembered her as a clear speaker and a skilled administrator.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar expressed shock over the death of the senior BJP leader. "Shocked to hear about the sad demise of Sushmaji. She would always call me `Sharad Bhau'," Pawar tweeted, adding, "We've lost a great statesman, eloquent orator, efficient administrator, fellow parliamentarian and above all a kind-hearted person."

Congress also condoled her demise. The party tweeted:

"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 (sic)," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

Reminiscing Swaraj's oratory skills, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said, "Shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news re #SushmaSwaraj My sincerest condolences. Knew her from SC days, as highly cultured attendee at my wife’s ghazal & sufi recitals, most graceful, powerful orator, warm & helpful. Very soft & considerate yet committed to causes (sic)."

In another tweet, Singhvi said, "My heart goes out to advocate colleagues #Swarajkaushal & #bansuri, her husband & daughter & practising members of the profession."

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao remembered her as "one of India's great Parliamentarians".

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he was shocked to hear about Swaraj's death. He added that she will be forever remembered for her work for the upliftment of the nation.

President Ram Nath Kovind, former president Pranab Mukherjee, newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and leaders from across party lines paid tributes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Updated Date: Aug 07, 2019 09:39:24 IST