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India bids adieu to Swaraj

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first_imgNEW DELHI: Sushma Swaraj, former foreign minister and BJP veteran who died on Tuesday evening, was cremated with state honours Wednesday afternoon in the presence of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP patriarch LK Advani among others. Swaraj’s death due to a cardiac arrest has left political leaders and her legions of admirers in deep shock. PM Modi turned emotional Wednesday morning as he paid homage to Swaraj, easily one of India’s most admired political leaders. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsHer body was kept at the BJP headquarters for party workers and leaders to pay tributes and then moved to the Lodhi Crematorium where all top leaders paid their respects. Swaraj died at Delhi’s All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where she was taken at around 9 pm on Tuesday. Political leaders across party lines as well as people on social media expressed shock and grief at her sudden death. President Ram Nath Kovind visited the departed leader’s home in central Delhi’s Jantar Mantar Road to pay his last respects. He interacted with her husband Swaraj Kaushal and other family members. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Amit Shah also paid tribute. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdaySonia Gandhi of the Congress was seen hugging Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri. Her son Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too visited Swaraj’s home. PM Modi and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu paid their condolences to Sushma Swaraj’s family members. BJP veteran LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha, who have had a long association with Swaraj, were misty-eyed. Remembering the veteran politician, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet Tuesday night, said a “glorious chapter in Indian politics has come to an end”. Top ministers such as Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Ramesh Pokhriyal were among those who visited the hospital Tuesday night. In 1977, Sushma Swaraj became the youngest minister of a state, Haryana. Swaraj was one of the tallest leaders of the BJP. She will be best remembered as a humane politician who helped the Indians abroad in distress with her quick response on Twitter to requests for help when she was the foreign minister. Even banal or joking requests drew a response from Sushma Swaraj. The 67-year-old had been ailing of late, which is why she had not contested the Lok Sabha election earlier this year and opted out of PM Modi’s new government. She had a kidney transplant in 2016. Hours before her death, Swaraj had tweeted congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in parliament. See insidelast_img

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