Former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away late Tuesday night after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 67.
Ms Swaraj was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi around 9 pm on Tuesday. She had been unwell for some time and had opted out of contesting in the elections earlier this year. She will be cremated with state honours in New Delhi today.
Also read: Tributes pour in for Sushma Swaraj from across the world
An emotional Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to Ms Swaraj tweeting, "A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end". Tributes also poured in from politicians across party lines as well as from members of the film and sports industries.
Ms Swaraj had a long and illustrious career in Indian politics and was well known for her exemplary oratory skills. A seven-time Member of Parliament, Sushma Swaraj was the youngest cabinet minister to serve in the Haryana government at the age of 25 in 1977. She also was the Chief Minister of Delhi for a brief period in 1998. She was the first full-time woman foreign minister (Indira Gandhi held the additional charge of the ministry when she was prime minister).
She became famous for her ‘Twitter diplomacy’ in the time that she was the foreign minister, aiding Indians across the world through the social media platform - a policy that has continued with her successor Dr S Jaishankar.
In November 2016, she went public with news of having to undergo a kidney transplant. Since then she has been keeping unwell and had opted out of the general elections held earlier this year.
Her last tweet was a congratulatory message for Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the passing of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in parliament.
Her body will be kept at the BJP headquarters for three hours this afternoon for party workers and leaders to pay tributes before being cremated with state honours.