Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away in Delhi following a cardiac arrest. She was admitted to AIIMS earlier today. She was the first woman external affairs minister of India.
The 67-year-old leader, who had served her fourth term in Lok Sabha had long been her party’s most prominent woman face. She was the youngest cabinet minister at 25 when she joined the Haryana government in 1977 and the first woman chief minister of Delhi.
Swaraj served as the Minister of External Affairs of India from 26 May 2014 to 30 May 2019. She was elected seven times as a member of parliament and three times as a member of the legislative assembly.
Her most notable political battle was the one against the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Bellary in 1999 Lok Sabha polls. She was her party’s nationalist woman counter to Gandhi, often attacked by the BJP for her Italian origins.
Earlier in the day, Sushma Swaraj greeted Rajya Sabha members who voted in favour of the government’s resolution to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution.
She had undergone treatment for kidney failure in 2016. Citing health reasons, the former minister did not contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
In a tweet, Swaraj had thanked Prime Minister for everything and also expressed her delight in seeing the passage of the bill to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir. “Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime,” she