sushma dies

File photo of Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj at the 3rd India-CARICOM Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of UNGA on Sept. 19, 2017 in New York. (SnapsIndia photo)

NEW DELHI — Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj died at the AIIMS here Aug. 6 night following cardiac arrest, hospital sources said. She was 67.

The veteran BJP leader was brought to AIIMS in a critical condition but soon passed away, the sources said.

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javadekar and BJP working president J.P. Nadda arrived at the hospital as they got the news. Swaraj had undergone treatment for kidney failure in 2016. Citing health reasons, the former minister did not contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Sushma Swaraj, who was External Affairs Minister in his first government, lauding her services in helping Indians abroad.

"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.”

"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," he said in a series of tweets.

The 67-year-old leader, who had served her fourth term in the Lok Sabha had long been her party’s most prominent woman face. She was the youngest cabinet minister at 25 when she joined the Haryana government in 1977 and the first woman chief minister of Delhi.

Swaraj served as the Minister of External Affairs of India from May 26, 2014 to May 30, 2019. She was elected seven times as a member of parliament and three times as a member of the legislative assembly.

Earlier in the day, Sushma Swaraj greeted Rajya Sabha members who voted in favor of the government's resolution to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution.

In a tweet, Swaraj had thanked Prime Minister Modi for everything and also expressed her delight in seeing the passage of the bill to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir. "Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime," she said, as reported by The Economic Times.

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