Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke down as he paid a very emotional, teary-eyed tribute to Sushma Swaraj. Swaraj died after a massive cardiac arrest on Tuesday. She was 67. PM Modi paid tributes at the residence of former External Affairs Minister on Wednesday. The Prime Minister was seen consoling Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri and her husband Swaraj Kaushal. A visibly emotional PM was seen standing quietly next to the casket in which Swaraj’s mortal remains have been kept for the last glimpse. On Tuesday, soon after her death was confirmed by an official AIIMS announcement at 11 pm, PM Modi took to Twitter to express his shock and grief. India remembers Sushma Swaraj: LIVE UPDATES
In a series of tweets, PM Modi had lauded Swaraj’s exceptional oratory skills. “Sushma Ji was a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian. 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,” PM Modi had tweeted.
“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 in another tweet.
“I can’t forget the manner in which Sushma Ji worked tirelessly as EAM in the last 5 years. Even when her health was not good, she would do everything possible to do justice to her work and remain up to date with matters of her Ministry. The spirit and commitment was unparalleled,” he further added.
“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,” the Prime Minister said on the micro-blogging site.
Sushma Swaraj was only the second woman to hold the portfolio after Indira Gandhi, who briefly kept the external affairs ministry under her while being the prime minister. Several path-breaking measures such as the passport infrastructure expansion and enhanced engagement with the East were the highlights of her tenure as the external affairs minister. Swaraj had many firsts to her credit such as being the youngest cabinet minister in the Haryana government, first woman chief minister of Delhi and the first woman spokesperson for a national political party in the country. She started her political life with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the RSS’ student wing, and later joined the BJP. She was the Information and Broadcasting Minister in the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1996 and got the Cabinet portfolio again after he led the BJP to power in 1998.
(With agency inputs)