BJP stalwart and former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj passes away

She suffered cardiac arrest at her home and was rushed to AIIMS.
BJP stalwart and former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj passes away
BJP stalwart and former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj passes away
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Former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 67. The former Union Minister was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi in a critical condition at 9:50pm and was taken to the emergency ward. 

A team of five doctors attended to her in the hospital. Senior BJP ministers Nitin Gadkari, Harsh Vardhan and SS Ahluwalia were present at AIIMS. She was reportedly treated at the NeuroCardio centre of AIIMS.

With news of the former minister's passing away trickling in, Central ministers, opposition leaders and many others rushed to the AIIMS hospital. 

The senior leader did not contest the recent Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons. She represented Madhya Pradesh's Vidisha constituency in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Swaraj was elected to the Parliament seven times. At the age of 25 in 1977, she became the youngest cabinet minister of Indian state of Haryana. She also served as the Chief Minister of Delhi from 13 October 1998 to 3 December 1998. 

In December 2016, Swaraj underwent a kidney transplant surgery at AIIMS. Then 64, she underwent a 6-hour long procedure at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital with a team of 50 doctors. 

She had a BA degree in Sanskrit and Political Science from SD College, Ambala Cantonment and also studied LL.B. at Punjab University, Chandigarh and went on to practice at the Supreme Court. She began her political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s. She was elected seven times to the Lok Sabha and three times as MLA. She held several portfolios including Information and Broadcasting, Health in the Vajpayee government.  

During her tenure as the External Affairs Minister between May 2014 and May 2019, Sushma Swaraj was known for her promptness in helping Indians abroad, be it arranging for passport and visa on a short notice or helping families stranded there.

Born in 1952, Sushma Swaraj studied in SD College and the Punjab University in Chandigarh. Her father, Hardev Sharma, being a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member, she joined protests against Indira Gandhi in 1970. This was also Sushma's initiation to politics. Sushma Swaraj is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal, a senior advocate of Supreme Court of India and a daughter, Bansuri, who is a graduate from Oxford University and a Barrister at Law from Inner Temple.

Her last tweet was to Prime Minister Narendra Modi where she thanked the government for their move on Article 370.

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