India’s former foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, dies at 67

India’s former foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, dies at 67

The BJP leader, during her time in the external affairs ministry, granted visas to several individuals seeking medical treatment in India. She was administered CPR but did not respond. She did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and chose to sit out of the government this year on account of her health. She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri.

Swaraj, who was the chief minister of Delhi for a brief period from October-December 1998, passed away on August 6 night due to cardiac arrest. She was elected seven times to the Lok Sabha and three times as MLA.

Swaraj's health had deteriorated in recent months.

Cremation at 3 p.m.

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A former Supreme Court lawyer, Swaraj served as external affairs minister in the first Modi government from May 2014 to May 2019, making her the second woman to hold the office after former prime minister Indira Gandhi. She wrote: "Prime Minister, you gave me an opportunity to serve our countrymen and overseas Indians as the Foreign Minister for five years and personally, also, gave me respect throughout my tenure". According to BJP working president J.P. Nadda her body will be kept at her resident at Jantar Mantar till 11 a.m.

Her mortal remains will be taken to her residence opposite Kerala House at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

Modi further said: "Sushma Ji was a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian".

The Indian National Congress expressed condolences on Twitter. "Sushma Swaraj, an extraordinary political leader", tweeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

"We are saddened to hear about the untimely demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj".

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said he was "shocked" to learn of her passing and was finding it "difficult to accept this news". India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor.

Sushma Swaraj was one of India's most followed politicians on Twitter with over 13 million followers.

From reuniting families to helping citizens recover their passport and travel home from war-torn countries, every request for help, small or big, never bypassed the attention Swaraj, who has blazed a trail for future foreign ministers through her social media heroics.

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