NEW DELHI: Sushma Swaraj, former foreign minister and one of the BJP’s tallest leaders who was respected across party lines, is dead, Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences said late this evening. A number of her party colleagues and ministers have already reached the premier hospital. Among the first to arrive were Nitin Gadkari, Dr. Harshvardhan, Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani.
Ms. Swaraj was rushed to the hospital by her family sometime after 9 pm today when she was taken ill.
The 67-year-old had not been keeping well lately, which is why she had not contested the recently held Lok Sabha election and opted out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government. In June, she had moved out of her official residence.
Earlier this evening, Ms. Swaraj had tweeted congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in parliament.
A nine-time parliamentarian, a fabulous orator and a gifted administrator, Sushma Swaraj became the youngest minister of a state back in 1977.
She has been the chief minister of Delhi and later held the portfolios of information and broadcasting, and health in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
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.
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.
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.
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 were unparalleled.
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.