Former External Affairs Sushma Swaraj was inarguably one of the most loved ministers in the first Modi cabinet. Swaraj, 67, passed away due to cardiac arrest on Tuesday.
Known for using her office to reach out and help Indians in trouble across the globe, Sushma Swaraj trumped her role as India’s External Affairs Minister.
In fact, she was the last minister standing. Sushma Swaraj was performing her duties as the external affairs minister till the day of the counting for 2019 Lok Sabha elections as she was already scheduled to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
At the conference, Sushma Swaraj told off Pakistan for orchestrating terror attack in Pulwama. Sushma Swaraj, while attending the SCO Foreign Ministers’s conference, said that India’s wounds of the February 14 Pulwama attack were “still raw” when the ghastly terror attacks happened in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. She said that terror attack in Sri Lanka has made India more determined to fight the scourge firmly.
Earlier in March, Sushma Swaraj became the first female leader to be invited as “guest of honour” at the inaugural session of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan, a member of OIC, had dropped out of the conference in protest of honour conferred on Sushma Swaraj.
Sushma Swaraj did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and chose to sit out of the government this year on account of her health.
After PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony last month, Sushma Swaraj wrote an emotional message on Twitter, thanking PM Narendra Modi for giving her the opportunity to hold the office for five years.
In the tweet, Sushma Swaraj said, “Prime Minister, you gave me an opportunity to serve our countrymen and overseas Indians as the Foreign Minister for five years and personally, also, gave me respect throughout my tenure. I am very grateful to you. I pray that our government becomes very successful.”