swaraj ashes

Activists pay tribute to BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in Patna on Aug 7. (IANS photo)

AMROHA, Uttar Pradesh — The ashes of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were immersed in river Ganga at Brajghat, Hapur in Uttar Pradesh Aug. 8 amid chanting of mantras.

The rituals were performed by Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri. The deceased minister's husband Swaraj Kaushal, Meerut-Hapur MP Rajendra Aggrawal, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sudhanshu Mittal and others were also present.

A special prayer was performed at the Public Works Department guest house at Garh in Hapur before Sushma Swaraj's ashes were taken for immersion in a boat.

Sushma Swaraj, who touched millions of lives by turning Twitter into a helpline, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 6 at the age of 67. She was cremated with full state honors the following day.

With the passsing away of Swaraj, netizens have started demanding the renaming of 'Akbar Bhawan' — where the Overseas Indian Affairs-II Division of Ministry of External Affairs — is housed to 'Swaraj Bhawan.’

A petition has been uploaded on Change.org urging 'Rename Akbar Bhawan (MEA Office) to Swaraj Bhawan to honor late MEA Minister Sushma Swaraj.’ https://bit.ly/2M8wcBE

"The name Akbar reminds the common citizen of foreign rule, which is not an apt name for a building which houses the people who determine our relations with foreign powers," read the petition.

"The name Swaraj means self-rule, independence, and sovereignty," it added.

"We, the citizens of India, request Prime Minister Modi, who knows India's iron lady better than we ever will, to honour her memory by renaming Indian Ministry of External Affairs building, from Akbar Bhawan to Swaraj Bhawan," said the petition.

"Modi ji Kindly rename the Ministry of External affairs building as Smt. Sushma Swaraj Bhawan instead of Akbar Bhawan," said one user on Twitter.

"Rename MEA building, Akbar Bhavan, as Swaraj Bhawan or Swaraj-ya Bhawan... she saved so many folks. Truly SOS Sushma. May her spirit continue to guide the MEA.. #SushmaSawraj," demanded another user.

"@narendramodi, @AmitShah, @PMOIndia sir, kindly rename the Ministry of External affairs building as Smt. Sushma Swaraj Building instead of Akbar Bhawan. It would be so beautiful to do it by remembering her service in External affairs," another tweet said.

The last rites of the former External Affairs Minister were held at the Dayanand crematiorum on Lodhi Road here with full state honors.

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