She was suffering from various health complications related to old age and has been in a coma since last Wednesday. She suffered a stroke and breathed her last on Monday morning.
Born as Lakshmi Swaminathan in Madras, Madras Presidency, British India, she was a practising doctor having received her MBBS degree from Madras Medical College in 1938 and diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics thereafter.
In 1971, she joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and represented the party in the Rajya Sabha. Later in 2002, four Left parties - the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the All India Forward Bloc nominated Sahgal as their candidate for the presidential polls. She, however lost APJ Abdul Kalam.
In 1998, Sahgal was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the then President KR Narayanan.
Sahgal's daughter, Subhashini Ali is a prominent member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and is the President of the All India Democratic Women's Association.