Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passes away at 67 after heart attack

Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains will be taken to Lodhi road crematorium at 3 pm Wednesday, where her last rites will be performed with full state honours.

Published: 06th August 2019 11:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2019 03:58 PM   |  A+A-

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Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (File, EPS)

By Online Desk

Senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away at AIIMS Delhi on Tuesday night. The BJP veteran, who suffered a massive heart attack, died at the age of 67. 

According to reports, she was brought to AIIMS at 10:15 pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward.

A number of senior ministers made their way to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Swaraj's mortal remains will be brought to BJP headquarters at 12 pm on Wednesday. Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains will be taken to Lodhi road crematorium at 3 pm, where her last rites will be performed with full state honours, said BJP chief JP Nadda.

Earlier in the day, Sushma Swaraj had in a tweet congratulated Prime Minister Modi for the move to revoke Article 370. She tweeted: "प्रधान मंत्री जी - आपका हार्दिक अभिनन्दन. मैं अपने जीवन में इस दिन को देखने की प्रतीक्षा कर रही थी.@narendramodi ji - Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Swaraj on Twitter calling Swaraj 'a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian'. "She was uncompromising when it came to matters of ideology and interests of the BJP, whose growth she immensely contributed to", he wrote.

He also said: She was admired and revered across party lines.  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.

The Congress party's Twitter handle was among the first to pay their condolences. "We are saddened to hear about the untimely demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Our condolences to her family and loved ones," their message said.

Swaraj, who has long been BJP's most prominent woman face, did not contest the recent Lok Sabha elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats.

 Sushma Swaraj with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and L K Advani at a function in New Delhi. (Photo | File, PTI)

In November last year, she had announced that she would not contest the 2019 general elections, citing health concerns.

Sushma Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal had praised his wife after her decision to not contest elections: "This marathon has been on since 1977 - that is 41 years...You have been four terms in Lok Sabha, three terms in Rajya Sabha and thrice elected to state Assembly. You are contesting elections since you were 25 - and fighting elections for 41 years is quite a marathon."

"Madam - I am running behind you for the last 46 years. I am no longer a 19-year-old. Please, I am also running out of breath. Thank you," he added.

In December 2016, Swaraj had undergone kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, after which she had been taking maximum health-related precautions.

Swaraj became popular for acting as a troubleshooter for any Indian stuck anywhere abroad. She used Twitter to solve various problems from issuance of visa to helping Indians abroad in distress.

Sushma Swaraj (Photo | File, EPS)

Sushma Swaraj served as the Minister of External Affairs from 26 May 2014 to 30 May 2019. She was the second woman to hold the office, after Indira Gandhi.

She was a former Supreme Court lawyer.

In 1977, she was the youngest cabinet minister of Haryana at the age of 25.

She served as the 5th Chief Minister of Delhi from 13 October 1998 to 3 December 1998.

She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri.

FROM OUR ARCHIVES | When Sushma Swaraj raised concerns over Pulwama terror attack with her Chinese counterpart

(With agency inputs)

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