New Delhi: Former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who passed away late on Tuesday, will be laid to rest at Lodhi Road crematorium at 3pm on Wednesday.
Her mortal remains will be kept at BJP headquarters from noon till 3pm for public homage. She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri. She was 67.
The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward. AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest.
A host of Union ministers and other senior party leaders visited AIIMS and met the bereaved family of the former external affairs minister.
A pall of gloom descended at the hospital as the news of her death left everyone in shock.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Environment Minster Prakash Javadekar, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Union Minister Smriti Irani were among the top leaders who visited the hospital.
“Her loss is irreparable and the void left by her can never be filled. It’s a huge loss to the party and the nation,” Nadda said.
The body was later taken to her residence here, sources said.
Nadda told reporters the body will be kept at the party headquarters from 12-3 pm for people to pay respects on Wednesday after which it will be taken to Lodhi Crematorium for the last rites.
Prasad said it was a personal loss for him.
“We used to address her as ‘didi’ and the respect she commanded was phenomenal. She was fine in the morning and then suddenly we got this news. It is a painful loss for me and for the nation,” he told reporters.
Senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain also grieved the loss, saying Swaraj had guided him in his career and “she was a leader liked by everyone, from the ruling to the opposition parties”.
Her contribution in the external affairs ministry is substantial as she left a mark in the field, he said.
Swaraj had put out a tweet in the evening congratulating Prime Modi after the Centre’s move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament’s approval.