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Sushma Swaraj: Woman of many firsts

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 7, 2019, 11:52 am IST
Updated : Aug 7, 2019, 12:11 pm IST

Apart from numerous achievements to her credit, she was the first-ever full-time woman External Affairs Minister.

Former External Affairs Minister Susham Swaraj. (Photo: Screengrab)
 Former External Affairs Minister Susham Swaraj. (Photo: Screengrab)

New Delhi: Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night after suffering a massive heart attack. She was 67.

Her death has left a massive void in Indian politics and political leaders cutting across party lines joined fellow countrymen in expressing their deep anguish.

Read: PM, Prez, leaders pay tribute to Swaraj, cremation with state honours today

Swaraj was witty, responsive, much respected and a seasoned politician. A prolific speaker, an excellent orator and a woman of substance, Swaraj has many credits to her name.

Born in 1952 and a part of active politics since 1970s, Swaraj studied law at Punjab University and was a practicing lawyer at Supreme Court of India.

Apart from her much celebrated tenure as the external affairs minister, Swaraj had the following firsts to her credit:

  • Swaraj became the youngest cabinet minister at age 25 in 1977. She held the education portfolio in Haryana.
  • She was the first-ever woman CM of Delhi.
  • She was the first-ever woman spokesperson in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • She was the first-ever woman spokesperson of any political party in India.
  • She was the first-ever woman Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
  • She was the first woman to be given the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award.
  • She was the first-ever full-time woman External Affairs Minister of the country.

Swaraj was suffering from kidney ailment for quite some time. She had voluntarily offered to not contest the 2019 parliamentary elections.

Read: Sushma Swaraj, 'supermom' who brought rare empathy to Indian diplomacy

Her mortal remains will be kept at her residence till noon on Wednesday before being taken to the BJP headquarters.

At 3 pm, the mortal remains will be taken to Lodhi Road crematorium for the final rites. Full state honours would be accorded.

Tags: rip sushma swaraj
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi