New Delhi: Former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away late on Tuesday evening after being rushed to AIIMS in a critical condition. She was 67. Reports said she had suffered a cardiac arrest.
She is survived by her husband and former Mizoram governor Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri.
Her mortal remains will be kept at her residence for the night, reported ANI. They will be kept at the BJP headquarters from noon till 3 PM on Wednesday for public homage before cremation at the Lodhi Road crematorium.
Hours ago, the BJP stalwart had tweeted her congratulatory note to the Centre for the abrogation of Article 370. She wrote, “Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime.”
Only last month, Swaraj had trashed reports of her being very ill, calling them rumours and adding that she was fine.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Swaraj won the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh for a second term. She was called India’s ‘best-loved politician’ by the Wall Street Journal.
However, she opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing ill health as she was recovering a kidney transplant and wanted to “save herself from dust and stay safe from infection”. Her decision was lauded by none other than her husband.
In a series of tweets, Kaushal had said, “Madam (Sushma Swaraj) – Thank you very much for your decision not to contest any more elections. I remember there came a time when even Milkha Singh stopped running.”
He had added, “This marathon has been on since 1977 – that is 41 years. You have contested 11 direct elections. In fact, you contested all elections held since 1977 except twice when the party did not allow you to contest in 1991 and 2004…I am also running behind you for the last 47 years.”
Swaraj will be remembered as a leader who held a high-profile portfolio but stayed connected with the common man. There have been innumerable instances when Indians stranged abroad have tweeted her and got immediate help.