Sushma Swaraj Death: Tributes Pour In From Across The Political Spectrum
Political leaders, irrespective of their party affiliations, expressed shock and grief at the sudden death of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The Bharatiya Janata Party veteran died of a cardiac arrest at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Tuesday night. Her funeral will be conducted later today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, condoling Swaraj's death, described her as a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and the poor.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, former president Pranab Mukherjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi condoled Swaraj's demise and hailed her as a good orator and a distinguished parliamentarian.
BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and several other union ministers also expressed their grief.
Swaraj has left an indelible mark on India’s politics, Shah said, while describing her as a simple and rare politician. She was a strong voice of the BJP when it was in the opposition and left an indelible mark as a minister, the home minister said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described Swaraj as an extremely valued colleague, while Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said her death was a personal loss for him, the BJP and the country. "Since the party's inception, she played a significant role in its expansion. When I was the President of BJP, she gave me guidance as an elder sister," Gadkari said.
"Deeply shocked to learn of the passing away of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Difficult to accept this news. The whole nation grieves, the Foreign Ministry even more so,” Swaraj’s successor at the external affairs ministry, S Jaishankar, said in a tweet.
“She leaves behind a void which is difficult to fill,” said former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said Swaraj was a great human being and will always be remembered.
"Deeply saddened that Sushma Swaraj ji has passed away. She served her party and the country with loyalty, devotion and distinction,” said former Finance MInister and Congress leader P Chidambaram.
"Saddened to hear of Sushma ji's passing away. Heartfelt condolences to Shri Swaraj Kaushal and Bansuri,” said Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
The Diplomatic community in Delhi also joined the nation in condoling Swaraj’s death, a “great woman” who during her tenure as foreign minister strengthened the position of India in the World.