Sushma Swaraj, India's former external affairs minister and a leader of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, died Tuesday at a hospital in New Delhi. I am no longer a 19 year old. An excellent administrator, Sushma-ji set high standards in every Ministry she handled.
Swaraj, who had a kidney transplant in 2016, had opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Remembering Sushma Swaraj, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said, "Deeply grieved to hear the demise of my good friend Sushma Swaraj; Stateswoman extraordinaire, diplomat par excellence; A warm human being".
She also served as the chief minister of Delhi in the late 1990s.
Cremation at 3 p.m.
Former External Minister Sushma Swaraj has passed away a little while ago. "My deepest condolences to people and government of India on the loss of a distinguished public figure who represented her country with distinction and determination", ANI quoted Afghanistan Foreign Affairs Minister S Rabbani as saying. According to BJP working president J.P. Nadda her body will be kept at her resident at Jantar Mantar till 11 a.m.
Sushma Ji was a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian. She was the youngest Cabinet minister of Haryana at just 25 years of age and also the first woman chief minister of Delhi besides being the first minister to advocate "digital diplomacy", as was evident with her prompt and round-the-clock presence on Twitter to help Indians overseas. "May her soul rest in peace", tweets outgoing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Swaraj received a law degree and began her political career in the 1970s closely associated with socialist leaders.
Prime Minister Modi condoled Swaraj's death, calling her "one of her kind, who was a source of inspiration for crores of people".
The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS between 9.30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and was straight away taken to the emergency ward.
The news report said that the politician's husband and other family members, along with BJP leaders Dr Harshvardhan and Nitin Gadkari are present at AIIMS.
After PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony last month, Swaraj wrote an emotional message on Twitter, thanking him for giving her the opportunity to hold office for five years. She was only the second woman to be the External Affairs Minister after Indira Gandhi.
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