Sushma Swaraj 'far too young', shared warm relationship with her: Sonia Gandhi in letter

After the 2004 election, when the UPA came to power, Swaraj had said she would shave her head if Gandhi became the prime minister as the Congress leader was of Italian origin.

Published: 08th August 2019 01:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2019 01:35 AM   |  A+A-

Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. (Photo | File, PTI)

Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. (Photo | File, PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Describing Sushma Swaraj as a great parliamentarian and a lady of "extraordinary gifts", Congress leader Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said she shared a warm personal relationship with her and felt her loss greatly.

Swaraj had unsuccessfully contested against Gandhi in 1999 from Bellary Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka, an election that attracted nationwide attention as it was Sonia Gandhi's electoral debut.

"In our many years together as colleagues in the Lok Sabha, we developed a warm personal relationship and I feel her loss greatly," Gandhi said in her condolence letter to Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal.

"I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing away of your beloved wife Smt Sushma Swaraj. She was a lady of extraordinary gifts, her courage, determination, dedication and ability manifest in every position she held," the Congress parliamentary party leader said.

"Above all, it was her warm personal qualities that brought a special lustre to her years in public and political life," the United Progressive Alliance chairperson added.

Gandhi and Swaraj shared a close bond in Parliament and were seen meeting each other very warmly at social functions and at functions despite their political rival.

READ HERE: Lost an extraordinary parliamentarian, gifted orator: Rahul writes to Sushma Swaraj's husband

After the 2004 election, when the UPA came to power, Swaraj had said she would shave her head if Gandhi became the prime minister as the Congress leader was of Italian origin.

"Sushma ji was a superb orator, a great parliamentarian and had a rare gift for friendship that won her affection and admiration across the political spectrum," Gandhi said in her letter.

The Congress leader said Swaraj made herself accessible to even the humblest person and established a warm rapport with people from all walks of life.

With her empathy and compassion, she gave Indian diplomacy a human face as she reached out to help every Indian citizen in distress, Gandhi said.

"The same courage and grit that was a hallmark of Sushma-ji's political life, she showed in her personal life as well, as she faced her serious ailments with incredible fortitude," she said.

VIEW PHOTOS | Nation bids final farewell to People's Minister Sushma Swaraj

Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night in Delhi at the age of 67 after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

The Congress leader said Swaraj left "far too young" as she had so much more to contribute to national life.

"That makes her death even more tragic," she said.

Conveying her condolences to Swaraj's husband and daughter Bansuri, the UPA chairperson termed it a "cruel loss" for them.

"You must draw solace from the fact that Sushmaji lived a life of honour, filled with achievement and contributions to the country she loved; respected and admired by all Indians," Gandhi said.

"And she went as she had lived - active and engaged till the very end," the Congress leader said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp