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Former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is no more

August 7, 2019

One of the the BJP's most loved leaders Sushma Swaraj passed away last night. She died after a cardiac arrest. Her sudden death at 67 has come as a shock to many. Ms Swaraj was loved by many as she was seen as a responsive minister who would answer distress calls in Twitter from Indians anywhere in the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned her loss and said a "glorious chapter in Indian politics has come to an end".

Ms Swaraj was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi after 9 pm on Tuesday. She died soon after her arrival. A number of her party colleagues and ministers reached the hospital. Among the first to arrive were Nitin Gadkari, Dr Harshvardhan, Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani.

Ms Swaraj had a kidney transplant three years ago and had been keeping unwell. Because of poor health, she had decided not to contest the Lok Sabha election held earlier this year and opted out of the new government.

Just before her death, she had tweeted a congratulatory message to PM modi over the developments in Jammu and Kashmir. "Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime".

After her death, PM Mod tweeted,

India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader. 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. 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. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

As India's foreign minister, Ms Swaraj was known for many interventions, from helping people stranded in other countries without passports to organising urgent medical visa for treatment in India. She was known for her kindness and warmth and had touched many people's hearts.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also mourned her death. "I'm shocked to hear about the demise of Sushma Swaraj Ji, an extraordinary political leader, a gifted orator & an exceptional Parliamentarian, with friendships across party lines. My condolences to her family in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace."

A nine-time MP and a gifted administrator, Ms Swaraj became the youngest minister of a state, Haryana, in 1977. A former Supreme Court lawyer, she emerged as a prominent leader in the BJP after the death of Pramod Mahajan in 2006. Before becoming foreign minister, she was chief minister of Delhi, and was in charge of other key ministries in the Vajpayee government.

Ms Swaraj's funeral will be held later today

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