BJP leaders condole death of Sushma Swaraj, remember her as 'people's minister'
New Delhi, Aug 6: Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Tuesday condoled the death of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, with party president Amit Shah saying that she left an indelible mark in the national politics.
Swaraj, a former external affairs minister, passed away on Tuesday night, AIIMS sources said. She was 67. The veteran BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward.
AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest. BJP working president J P Nadda said Swaraj was an example of an ideal personality, be as an opposition leader or as external affairs minister. The country will always remember her as extremely simple, empathic, robust, energetic and impressive personality, Nadda said, adding her death is an irreparable loss to the nation and the BJP.
Describing her as a simple and rare politician, Shah said she was a strong voice of the BJP when it was in opposition and left an indelible mark as a minister.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Swaraj rose through the party's ranks to become the external affairs minister and during her tenure she introduced a new sensitivity and sensibility in the ministry's functioning. She was known as the people's minister, he noted.
Senior party leader Prakash Javadekar expressed his shock and said Swaraj set an example by connecting the common man's need to the external affairs ministry. "I have an axe to grind with you Didi. You made Bansuri pick a restaurant to take me for a celebratory lunch. You left without fulfilling your promise to the two of us," Union Minister Smriti Irani tweeted.
Senior party leader Arun Jaitley said he was pained and broken at her demise and described her as one of the most outstanding politicians in the present era. Swaraj distinguished in all positions she he held in the party, the government and the opposition, he said, adding that she leaves behind a void which is difficult to fill.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said she was a "dynamic personality" and an "able administrator". "She had exhibited her skills as an excellent Parliamentarian while playing the role of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. We have lost a senior leader and a mentor, but it is also a personal loss for me," he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said she was a powerful orator and a person who won the masses with her influence. Several senior ministers, including Harsh Vardhan, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani Prakash Javadekar, reached AIIMS after she was admitted to the hospital.
Swaraj had put out a tweet in the evening congratulating Prime Modi after the Centre's move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament's approval.
Swaraj had a kidney transplant in 2016 and had opted out of contesting Lok Sabha polls earlier this year for health reasons. She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri.