Tearful farewell to Sushma Swaraj

first_imgNew Delhi: Former External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was cremated with full state honours at the Lodhi Road crematorium here on Wednesday. Hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and veteran party leader Lal Krishna Advani, bade farewell. Swaraj, who also served as the Leader of Opposition and chief minister of Delhi, was given full state honours after which her body was cremated in the electric crematorium. Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, several leaders from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as well as the Opposition, were present. Also Read – Subramanian Swamy cross-examined in National Herald case Advertise With Us Swaraj died on Tuesday night at the age of 67. The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30 pm and was taken to the emergency ward after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. Swaraj had put out a tweet on Tuesday evening congratulating Modi after the Centre’s move to revoke the special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament’s approval. “Narendra Modi ji – Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime,” she had said. Also Read – War propaganda delays removal of internet restriction in Jammu and Kashmir Advertise With Us The body of the long-time BJP leader on Wednesday was brought to the crematorium from the party office around noon. Many jostled for a last glimpse as the casket with Swaraj’s mortal remains, wrapped in the tricolour, was put in the hearse in preparation for her final journey. Others tried to capture images on their mobile phones in the main hall of the BJP headquarters and outside as the van rolled across the street. Advertise With Us Other leaders included Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union ministers Rajnath Singh Harsh Vardhan and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, BJP working president JP Nadda, and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi bade her an emotional farewell. Senior Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also attended the funeral. Her mortal remains were consigned to flames in the electric crematorium, amid sounding of the ceremonial bugle and strains of Vedic mantras in the background. The Prime Minister was seen comforting her husband Swaraj Kasushal and daughter Bansuri. People from multiple faiths converged at the crematorium, and many came from as far as Bihar and Madhya Pradesh to pay homage to Swaraj. National president of Jamaat Ulama-e-Hind Moulana Suhaib Qasmi, who came with a group of people from Nizamuddin area, said, “Her death is a big loss for the party, and the country.” “As a Foreign minister, she had helped so many distressed diaspora people, whether it was in Saudi Arabia or Iraq or Yemen. I had once travelled with her to Yemen. She raised India’s stature as the external affairs minister. We are shocked by her death,” he said. Lekhi, who had also visited the family at the AIIMS on Tuesday night, besides a host of the other senior leaders, lauded Swaraj, saying, “she was an icon for every woman”. “Any woman who wants to be in politics, ask her, and she would say ‘I want to be like Sushma Swaraj’. She had exemplary oratory skills, was academically sound and was a leader of immense credibility who could take the opposition head on,” she said. AAP MLA Somnath Bharti said, Swaraj was a “rare politician” who was liked by people across parties. “I used to invite her for the events, when I was the alumni association president at IIT… BJP has several good leaders but the leaders of the stature of Vajpayeeji (former PM) and Sushmaji, I don’t think we see them any longer,” he said. Political leaders from several states condoled the death of former external affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief at Swaraj’s demise, saying it was an irreparable loss for the country’s politics. “Extremely saddened to hear about Sushma ji’s demise. It is an irreparable loss for the country’s politics. We have lost a great leader and a brilliant orator who was full of human emotions,” he said. Rawat’s Punjab counterpart, Amarinder Singh, said he was shocked to learn about the former Delhi chief minister’s demise and described her as a “dynamic and sensitive” leader. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said he was deeply shocked to learn about Swaraj’s demise. “It is a personal loss for me,” he wrote on Twitter. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa paid his last respects to the departed leader and remembered her association with the southern state. He said Swaraj had a close connection with Karnataka since 1999, when she contested the Lok Sabha polls against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Bellary. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami expressed grief over Swaraj’s demise and hailed her contributions to the country. Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy also condoled Swaraj’s demise. In her condolence message, Bedi said, “The passing away of Sushma Swaraj is a personal and national loss. She brought warmth and care in her work.” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray expressed grief over the “irreparable loss” his family had suffered following the demise Swaraj, whom party patriarch Bal Thackeray had once backed as the NDA’s prime ministerial face. He recalled that his father Bal Thackeray shared an affectionate rapport with the BJP leader. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled the former external affairs minister’s demise, describing her as a “tall leader and an icon for millions of women”. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma condoled Swaraj’s demise, hailing her as “one of India’s tallest leaders and an epitome of integrity”. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik also expressed grief over Swaraj’s demise. Describing her as a dynamic politician and a symbol of women empowerment who always worked for the country’s betterment, he said it was difficult to fill the space left behind by Swaraj.last_img

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