NEW DELHI: Former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night, AIIMS sources said. The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30 pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward. AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest. Several senior ministers, including Harsh Vardhan, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, reached AIIMS after she was admitted to the hospital.
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,” she had said.
In 2016, a US daily coined the term “Super Mom of India” after Swaraj’s efforts brought home several Indians stranded in the Arabian Gulf, Pakistan and other countries across the world. With over 13 million
followers on Twitter, she was active on social media and
responded to SOS messages from Indians in distress.
She helped bring home a deaf-mute girl Geeta, who has been stranded in Pakistan for 13 years after she strayed across the border. Swaraj was also instrumental in rescuing Hamid Ansari, a Mumbai-based man who was jailed in Pakistan for six years when he crossed over to meet a woman he met online. She helped rescue charity worker Judith D’souza who was kidnapped in Kabul.
Her compassion was on display when she saved Faizan Patel’s honeymoon trip by arranging a new passport for his wife in a day. Faizan had tweeted to Swaraj that he was alone in Europe on his honeymoon as his wife’s passport had not come through. Swaraj helped unite the lovebirds.
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 6 August 2019
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. Prime Minister Modi, in his tweets, hailed Swaraj as a "prolific orator and outstanding parliamentarian" and said 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," Modi said.
"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,” he said.