Former Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj died at the AIIMS in New Delhi on Tuesday 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 JP Nadda arrived at the hospital as they got the news.
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 Congress offered its condolences and tweeted, “We are saddened to hear about the untimely demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Our condolences to her family and loved ones.”
Sushma Swaraj, who had a kidney transplant in 2016, had opted out of the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year citing health reasons.
Swaraj had put out a tweet in the evening congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Centre’s bold move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament’s approval.
“Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime,” she said.
The foreign minister was a much loved and respected personality for her quick response to distress messages on Twitter.
She was succeeded by former foreign secretary S Jaishankar as the new External Affairs Minister in the second term of Modi government.