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Sushma Swaraj breathed her last at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Tuesday night. (AFP)
Sushma Swaraj breathed her last at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Tuesday night. (AFP)

India bids farewell to Sushma Swaraj -- one of its finest leaders in decades

  • Former Union minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night
  • Delhi and Haryana governments have declared a two-day state mourning

The nation on Wednesday bid an emotional farewell to Sushma Swaraj, one of its most outstanding politicians, as her mortal remains were cremated with full state honours in the presence of top political leaders and hundreds of her grieving admirers.

Swaraj died at AIIMS here late Tuesday night at the age of 67 after suffering a massive heart attack, plunging the country in a state of grief and sparking an outpouring of condolences from across the world.

Here are the latest updates:

Daughter Bansuri performs last rites of Sushma Swaraj

Tears rolled down her face as Bansuri performed the last rites of her mother Sushma Swaraj, surrounded by a sea of mourners on Wednesday.

Swaraj's husband Kaushal Swaraj and daughter saluted the mortal remains, wrapped in a tricolour, as they were kept on a hearse decorated with flowers at the BJP office on DDU Marg, before its final journey to Lodhi Road crematorium.

The body of the former minister was kept at the BJP headquarters for a few hours for people to pay their respects.

Sushma Swaraj was a pillar of support, recalls Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur

Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit Singh who died in a Pakistan jail in 2013, on Wednesday remembered former Union minister Sushma Swaraj as a pillar of support to her family during their tough days.

Kaur recalled having first met Swaraj at the BJP office in Delhi in 2005 when the family of Sarabjit, who was on a death row in Pakistan, had launched a campaign to get him back to India.

“We first met her in 2005 in BJP office in Delhi on Sarabjit issue. I was so touched by her gesture when she told me that we could meet her at her residence in Delhi anytime," Kaur, who belongs to Bhikiwind village in Amritsar, told PTI.

Geeta, who was rescued from Pak, pays tribute to Sushma Swaraj in sign language

Geeta, the hearing and speech impaired woman who returned to India in 2015 after being stranded in Pakistan for several years, paid a moving tribute to Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday.

The former External Affairs Minister was instrumental in getting the woman back to India. Swaraj had been a guardian figure to the woman who has not been able to find her family so far.

Sushma Swaraj set standards for clean politics, says Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday expressed deep condolences on the demise of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying she was known for a clean and dignified politics

Swaraj made a lasting impression among the Lankan public: PM Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday expressed sorrow at the demise of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, saying that her efforts to achieve regional policy objectives made a lasting impression among the Lankan public.

In a condolence message sent to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said,

“I have always known Mrs Swaraj as a true friend of Sri Lanka, a neighbour and a relative of Sri Lanka who held a pleasing personality."

-Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India: I'm deeply saddened to learn of the sudden demise of Sushma Swaraj, Former EAM of India. On behalf of the Govt&people of Japan, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the bereaved family and people of India.

-Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj cremated with state honours at Lodhi Crematorium.

-Swaraj was well-cultured, immensely talented: Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday described the death of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as a "personal loss". In a video message, he described the senior BJP leader as "well-cultured and immensely talented".

-PM Narendra Modi, Senior BJP leader LK Advani, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu at Lodhi Crematorium.

-Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, performs her last rites.

-PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay at Lodhi crematorium.

-Mortal remains of Sushma Swaraj brought to Lodhi crematorium

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-Mortal remains of Sushma Swaraj being taken from BJP headquarters to Lodhi crematorium

Watch: Thousands pay tributes to Sushma Swaraj, last rites held in capital

-WATCH: Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and other BJP leaders give shoulder to mortal remains of Sushma Swaraj as they are being taken from BJP headquarters to Lodhi crematorium in Delhi.

-The Dalai Lama tweeted saying, "I offer my prayers & my condolences at this difficult time."

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-‘She was happy with the recent historic development in the nation’: RSS

‘She was happy with the recent historic development in the nation, as she expressed before she left us. We express condolences to her family in this moment of grief,’ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh expresses grief.

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Watch: People who Sushma Swaraj rescued from distress pay tributes

-Industry leaders mourn Sushma Swaraj's demise

India Inc on Wednesday mourned the death of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, describing her as a fiery orator and a great leader who inspired the nation.

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-Swaraj Cremation: Traffic advisory

Traffic on Lodhi Road, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, near Neela Gumbad, Moolchand Flyover, Defence Colony Flyover, Lodhi Road Flyover and on adjoining roads will be affected from 2 pm to 5:30 pm, a senior police officer said, PTI reported.

-Watch: Sushma Swaraj wrapped in tricolour at BJP headquarters in Delhi

-Sushma Swaraj was key partner in strengthening US-India bilateral relationship, says US Embassy

Sushma Swaraj was a steadfast advocate for her compatriots. As External Affairs Minister, she was a key partner in strengthening US-India bilateral relationship, most prominently during the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in September 2018, says US Embassy

-"We will miss you.." India mourns Sushma Swaraj's death

BJP workers and mourners on Wednesday gathered in large numbers at the party headquarters on Wednesday to pay their last respects to Sushma Swaraj, veteran leader, former external affairs minister and also "didi" to many of them.

-First full-time female foreign minister of India

Among the several firsts to Sushma Swaraj's credit are — youngest cabinet minister to serve in the Haryana government at the age of 25 in 1977 and first full-time woman foreign minister (Indira Gandhi held additional charge of the ministry when she was prime minister).

-Sushma Swaraj first contested election in 1977 from Haryana

Born on 14 February, 1952 at Ambala in Haryana, Sushma Swaraj studied law at Panjab University in Chandigarh. She was married to Swaraj Kaushal, a senior advocate in the Supreme Court who served as governor of Mizoram. A seven-time member of Parliament, Swaraj also served as MLA thrice in the Haryana state assembly. She was the chief minister of Delhi for a brief period in 1998. She first contested elections in 1977 from her home state, Haryana

-Bollywood stars remembered India's first full-time female foreign minister Sushma Swaraj after her sudden demise

"Extremely sad news", Amitabh Bachchan said, "She was a really strong politician, very sociable and great orator. I pray for her soul to rest in peace." Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar said she was "deeply shocked".

-"Extraordinary woman and leader who devoted her life to public service," UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa has expressed condolences.

She added in her tweet that she sends her “deepest condolences to all of her loved ones @IndiaUNNewYork," tagging India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in her message.

-BJP president Amit Shah and BJP working president JP Nadda pay tribute to Sushma Swaraj at party headquarters

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(Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

-Smriti Irani posted an emotional message on Twitter

Union minister for textiles and women and child development Smriti Irani posted an emotional message on Twitter after former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday.

“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," Smriti Irani tweeted.

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-Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister pays tribute to Sushma Swaraj at party headquarters.

-WATCH: Geeta, the Indian girl who was brought back from Pakistan in 2015 when late Sushma Swaraj was External Affairs Minister, pays tribute.

-Senior BJP leader LK Advani pays tributes to Sushma Swaraj at her residence. His daughter Pratibha Advani gets emotional as she meets Sushma Swaraj's daughter, Bansuri.

-Sushma Swaraj's body being shifted to BJP headquarters

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(Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

The mortal remains of BJP leader Sushma Swaraj is being shifted to the party headquarters, after being kept at her residence since the previous night. According to sources close to the family, the body will be kept at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in the heart of the capital for public to pay homage till 2 p.m. It will be later taken to the Lodhi crematorium for the last rites.

-President Kovind, PM Modi pay homage to Swaraj at her residence

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top party leaders, were among the hundreds of people who paid their last respects to former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence on Wednesday. "Crores of people who loved her are sad and will miss her. She was a bright star of Indian politics and an able administrator. In the last five years as foreign minister she has made India proud globally under the leadership of the PM. Her absence will be felt for a long time. I pray that she rests in peace," he told reporters.

-Rajya Sabha mourns Sushma Swaraj's death

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday mourned the demise of its former member and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, with Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu calling her an able administrator and a true voice of the people. Naidu said Sushma Swaraj was a "sister" to him who used to tie rakhi to him every year. "This year I will be missing this honour," he said in his address.

-Haryana govt to observe 2-day state mourning for Sushma Swaraj

CMO Haryana in a tweet said "Haryana Government will observe a two-day state mourning in honour of senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Late Smt. Sushma Swaraj."

"Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will pay homage to the senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Late Smt. Sushma Swaraj at New Delhi today", said the CMO of Haryana in a tweet.

-Rahul, Sonia pay last tribute to Sushma Swaraj

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday paid their last respects to senior BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

-Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also visited the residence of the political stalwart and extended sympathy to her family. "I was shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj. In her death our country has lost a respected and dedicated leader," said Singh in a statement.

-B-Town celebs mourn death of Sushma Swaraj

"A graceful and honest leader, a sensitive and a selfless soul" that is how a string of Bollywood celebrities from Amitabh Bachchan to Lata Mangeshkar, Anil Kapoor and Akshay Kumar remembered former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the news of her sudden demise.

-Foreign dignitaries, world leaders pay their tributes to Sushma Swaraj

World leaders, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, on Wednesday condoled the death of India's former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.

Leaders from across the globe remembered the veteran BJP leader, who died on Tuesday night after a massive cardiac arrest at the age of 67, remembering her variously as "good friend", "dear sister" and "extraordinary woman".

The Bangladesh prime minister said her country had lost a "good friend".

Watch: RIP Sushma Swaraj: Fiery Opposition leader, transformative foreign minister

-As external affairs minister, Swaraj enhanced India's reputation: Amit Shah

The untimely demise of Sushma Swaraj had left him as well as millions of party workers and her admirers in a state of shock, Union home minister and BJP president Amit Shah said on Wednesday, as he remembered the departed leader's stints in various positions in the opposition and in different governments.

-Sports fraternity condoles death of Sushma Swaraj

"Deeply saddened by the news of Sushma Ji's demise, may her soul rest in peace," Kohli wrote on his twitter page.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said Swaraj will always live in the hearts and minds of the people. "I have no words left with me at this point of time. She truly lived for the motherland INDIA. Sushma ji, you will forever live in our heart and mind," he said.

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