Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri Swaraj performing the last rites of her mother as Swaraj Kaushal stands beside her. Photo/ANI
Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri Swaraj performing the last rites of her mother as Swaraj Kaushal stands beside her. Photo/ANI

With galaxy of leaders in attendance, Sushma Swaraj cremated with full state honours

ANI | Updated: Aug 07, 2019 23:57 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 7 (ANI): Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was cremated with full state honours here on Wednesday as a galaxy of leaders cutting across political lines paid rich tributes and their last respects to her.
The last rites were performed by Swaraj's daughter Bansuri as her father Swaraj Kaushal stood beside her at the Lodhi Road crematorium. The mortal remains, draped in tricolour, was decorated with flowers.
Delhi Police personnel sounded the bugle as her body was taken to the electric crematorium as leaders from various parties and foreign dignitaries attended the last rites of the late BJP leader.
Those in attendance included - Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP working president J P Nadda, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Lal Krishna Advani, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Congress leader Anand Sharma, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who placed a wreath on the body.
Before the final journey, the body was kept at the BJP headquarters for the public to pay homage.
Former Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay was also present.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, were among the others who were present at the cremation.
Mourning her demise, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said Swaraj gave Indian diplomacy a human face. She went on to say that the BJP stalwart was a "superb orator, a great parliamentarian and had a rare gift for friendship that won her affection and admiration across the political spectrum."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter to Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal, stating that with the death of the former External Affairs Minister, the nation has lost an extraordinary Parliamentarian and a gifted orator.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee described Swaraj as an astute parliamentarian, an eloquent orator and a dignified and affable leader.
"She was always quick to adapt to changes and be a step ahead, a quality I have always admired in Sushmaji," he wrote in a letter, adding that it was extremely unfortunate that the country lost such a charismatic leader at such a young age.
The Delhi government had declared a two-day state mourning as a mark of respect to the late BJP leader.
UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa hailed Swaraj as an "extraordinary woman and a leader who devoted her herself to public life."
"Saddened by the news of the passing of @SushmaSwaraj, an extraordinary woman & leader who devoted her life to public service. I had the honor of meeting her in my visits to #India, & will always remember her fondly. My deepest condolences to all of her loved ones @IndiaUNNewYork," Espinosa tweeted.
Earlier, Rajnath Singh, Nadda, Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and other BJP leaders lent shoulders when the body was carried out of the BJP headquarters.
Swaraj breathed her last on Tuesday night at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Swaraj was the foreign minister in the first term of the Modi government in 2014. She opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing ill health. (ANI)