Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passes away

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India’s former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack in New Delhi.

67 year old Sushma Swaraj was rushed to the Emergency at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) around 9:30 pm on Tuesday. Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was administered but doctors were unable to revive her, said hospital officials.

“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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a series of tweets.

“Extremely shocked to hear of the passing of Smt Sushma Swaraj. The country has lost a much loved leader who epitomised dignity, courage & integrity in public life. Ever willing to help others, she will always be remembered for her service to the people of India,” President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

“I’m shocked to hear about the demise of Sushma Swaraj Ji, an extraordinary political leader, a gifted orator and an exceptional Parliamentarian, with friendships across party lines. My condolences to her family in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace. Om Shanti,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

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

She was 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.

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 UnionTerritories 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.

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.

Published on 6 August 2019

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