The nation bids a tearful adieu to Sushma Swaraj

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 08, 2019

Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's mortal remains being taken for last rites from BJP headquarter, in New Delhi on Wednesday.   -  Sandeep Saxena

People from various all walks of life gathered here on Wednesday to bid adieu to Sushma Swaraj, who donned the roles of Delhi Chief Minister, Cabinet Minister and Opposition leader in her political career spanning more than four decades. Her mortal remains were cremated at the Lodhi electric crematorium with full State honours in the presence of hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Thousands of people came to the city to pay their last respects at her residence and later at the BJP headquarters. Senior political leaders and ministers thronged at AIIMS Hospital on Tuesday after an official announcement of her sudden demise due to heart attack was made.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi struggled to control his emotions when he reached Swaraj’s residence. President Ram Nath Kovind, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah and leaders of various political parties also reached there.

‘Void hard to fill’

Shah said she was a great leader who left a void which would be hard to fill. “Crores of people who loved her are sad and will miss her. She was a bright star of Indian politics and an able administrator. In the last five years as foreign minister, she has made India proud globally under the leadership of the PM. Her absence will be felt for a long time...,” he told reporters.

Nonagenarian leader LK Advani, who was a mentor to Swaraj, said she was a promising young activist whom he had inducted into his team. “And over the years, she became one of the most popular and prominent leaders of our party; a role model for women leaders. I was often amazed at her ability to recall incidents, events and present them with utmost clarity and eloquence,” Advani said.

Rajya Sabha, where Swaraj was a member for more than 15 years, bid an emotional farewell to the leader. A visibly moved Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu read out the House’s condolence message and said Swaraj was the most accessible Minister who always dreamt of an India at its highest glory. He said Swaraj was drawn into public life by the call of direct service to the people and she took up several electoral challenges demonstrating grit and grace.

Sonia Gandhi said in her condolence message said: “Above all, it was her warm personal qualities that brought a special lustre to her years in public and political life,” she added.

Published on August 07, 2019

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