Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has passed away on Tuesday after suffering a massive heart attack. She was 67. Following the heart attack, she was immediately rushed to AIIMS hospital in Delhi.
She was the second woman to hold the office as Foreign Minister after Indira Gandhi. She had been elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
At the age of 25 in 1977, she became the youngest cabinet minister of Indian state of Haryana. She also served as 5th Chief Minister of Delhi from 13 October 1998 to 3 December 1998.
Sushma Swaraj decided not to contest the 2019 Indian general election due to health reasons as she was recovering a kidney related ailments.
Tributes poured in across the political spectrum:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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. Sushma Ji was a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian. 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. 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 who were in distress in any part of the world. I can’t forget the manner in which Sushma Ji worked tirelessly as EAM in the last 5 years. Even when her health was not good, she would do everything possible to do justice to her work and remain up to date with matters of her Ministry. The spirit and commitment was unparalleled. Sushma Ji’s demise is a personal loss. She will be remembered fondly for everything that she’s done for India. My thoughts are with her family, supporters and admirers in this very unfortunate hour. Om Shanti.”
The Indian National Congress Party Tweeted:
We are saddened to hear about the untimely demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Our condolences to her family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/T9wg739c8i
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 6, 2019
Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray tweeted:
I was fortunate to see the way she redefined the role of not just an LoP, her speeches with graceful aggression compelled the govt to act, but also the External Affairs Minister, which till her tenure was thought to be isolated from common man. Our condolences to her family.
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) August 6, 2019
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy tweeted: