Country pays an emotional adieu to Sushma Swaraj

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Sushma Swaraj, one of the most loved women politicians, who brought a rare empathy and a human approach to India’s diplomacy, was cremated with full state honour today. Swaraj died on Tuesday night at the age of 67. The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30pm and was taken to the emergency ward after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

The mortal remains of the former external affairs minister were cremated in an electric crematorium as senior leaders, besides family, friends and admirers bid a tearful adieu to the political stalwart. President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Narendra Modi and top party leaders, including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, were among the hundreds of people who paid their last respects to former external affairs minister at her residence on Wednesday.

Swaraj had put out a tweet on Tuesday evening congratulating Modi after the Centre’s move to revoke the 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.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed shock at the demise of senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, describing her as a great parliamentarian and exceptionally-talented Union minister. Paying rich tributes to her, BJP veteran L K Advani described her as one of his closest colleagues who rose to become one of the BJP”s most popular and prominent faces and “a role for women leaders”.

UNGA Prez Maria Fernanda Espinosa also expressed condolences at the demise of India’s former External Affairs Min Sushma Swaraj, describing her as an “extraordinary” woman and leader who devoted her life to public service.

Sushma Swaraj, who also served as the Leader of Opposition and chief minister of Delhi, was given full state honours after which her body was cremated in the electric crematorium. Hundreds of political leaders and workers from BJP, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, and several leaders from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as well as the opposition, were also present on this solemn occasion.

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