Sushma Swaraj, former external affairs minister and a senior member of Bharatiya Janata Party, has died at the age of 67.
Swaraj died of a heart attack on Tuesday after being rushed to the emergency ward of All India Institute of Medical Science hospital in New Delhi, the Press Trust of India reported.
She was the external affairs minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet from 2014 to 2019. After undergoing a kidney transplant during her tenure as minister, Swaraj decided not to run for this year’s general election, citing health issues.
“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,” PM Modi said.
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi described Swaraj as “an extraordinary political leader, a gifted orator and an exceptional parliamentarian with friendships across party lines”
In her last tweets, she thanked Modi for bringing a controversial measure to revoke the special status of Kashmir, a move that came after Modi government imposed a clampdown in the Kashmir. Calling it a “bold and historic decision”, Swaraj said: “I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime.”
Sushma Swaraj was known for her active presence on social media, often replying to requests for help from Indians abroad.
Politicians, celebrities and ordinary people took to social media to express their grief over Swaraj’s death and pay tribute.