She was the external affairs minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet from 2014 to 2019.After undergoing a kidney transplant during her tenure as minister, Swaraj decided not to run for this year’s general election, citing health issues.In a series of tweets, Modi said that Swaraj’s death was a “personal loss” and that she had worked tirelessly at India’s external affairs ministry.
“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,” Modi said.Swaraj was known for her active presence on social media, often replying to requests for help from Indians abroad.
In her last tweets, she thanked Modi for bringing a controversial measure to India’s parliament to revoke the special status of India-administered portion of the disputed territory of Kashmir, a move that came after New Delhi imposed a clampdown in the Muslim-majority state.Calling it a “bold and historic decision”, Swaraj said: “I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime.”
Opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi described Swaraj as “an extraordinary political leader, a gifted orator and an exceptional parliamentarian with friendships across party lines”.Swaraj received a law degree and began her political career in the 1970s closely associated with socialist leaders.