Former Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj passes away

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Former Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Tuesday night following cardiac arrest, hospital sources said. She was 67.

The veteran BJP leader was brought to AIIMS in a critical condition but soon passed away, the sources said.

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javadekar and BJP Working President J P Nadda arrived at the hospital as they got the news.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Sushma Swaraj, who was External Affairs Minister in his first government, lauding her services in helping Indians abroad.

Swaraj who underwent a kidney transplant in 2016, served as external affairs minister in Narendra Modi’s cabinet in the NDA’s first term. She chose not to contest the last Lok Sabha elections and also opted out of the government for health reasons. She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri

“An excellent administrator, Sushma Ji set high standards in every Ministry she handled. She played a key role in bettering India’s ties with various nations. As a Minister we also saw her compassionate side, helping fellow Indians who were in distress in any part of the world.

“A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end. 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,” he said in a series of tweets.

In 1977, Sushma Swaraj became the youngest cabinet minister, at the age of 25 years.