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PM, Top Leaders Present At Sushma Swaraj's t State Funeral
Former External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj passed away last night, at the age of 67.
Sushma Swaraj's Mortal Remains Reaches Party Headquarters
New Delhi: Former foreign minister and BJP veteran, Sushma Swaraj passed away at the age of 67, on Tuesday evening after a cardiac arrest, leaving political leaders and her legions of admirers in grief. The former Union Minister was cremated with state honours this afternoon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned emotional this morning as he paid homage to Ms Swaraj, easily one of India's most-admired political leaders.
Ms Swaraj's mortal remains 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, including PM Modi, Amit Shah, LK Advani and Rajnath Singh, paid their respects.
The vetaran leader of the BJP passed away at Delhi's All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where she was taken at around 9 pm on Tuesday.
People all across the country, including top political leaders took to social media to express shock and grief at her sudden death. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind visited Ms Swaraj'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.
The UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi was seen hugging Ms Swaraj's daughter Bansuri. Her son Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too visited Ms Swaraj's home.
The BJP patriarch, LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha, who have had a long association with Ms Swaraj, were seen in tears.
The 91 year old leader said in his tribute he could not recall a single year when she missed bringing his favourite chocolate cake on his birthday. "Sushmaji was someone who I have known and worked with since the beginning of her illustrious innings in the Bharatiya Janata Party. When I was the president of the BJP in the 1980s, she was a promising young activist who I had inducted into my team", Mr Advani said.
Ms Swaraj's body will be kept at the BJP office from noon to 3 pm. After this, the body will be taken to the Lodhi Road crematorium for the last rites. PM Modi is expected to attend her funeral, sources in the Prime Minister's Office said.
Among other VIPs who visited Ms Swaraj's home was former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, BJP lawmaker Hema Malini and yoga guru Ramdev.
Remembering the veteran politician, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet last 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 last night.
"India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor. Sushma Swaraj Ji was one of her kind, who was a source of inspiration for crores of people," the PM tweeted.
The 67-year-old had not been keeping well lately, 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, Ms Swaraj had tweeted congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in parliament. "She was happy about Article 370's abrogation, I read her tweet when I got back home," Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
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