Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Tuesday called former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s death a “personal loss” and offered his condolences to her family.
“A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end,” he tweeted. “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.”
President Ram Nath Kovind said India has “lost a much loved leader who epitomised dignity, courage and integrity in public life”. He said Swaraj would “always be remembered for her service to the people of India”.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called her death a sudden one. “Deeply shocked and anguished by the sudden demise of an extremely valued colleague,” he tweeted.
Union Minister of Textiles, and Women and Child Development Smriti Irani said she had “an axe to grind” with Sushma Swaraj. “You made Bansuri pick a restaurant to take me for a celebratory lunch. You left without fulfilling your promise to the two of us.”
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said a star had died today and that she had lost a female ally in the Parliament.
“Oh no! It’s really really bad news,” tweeted former Union minister Suresh Prabhu. “We have lost a great person, of innumerable unparalleled qualities”.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called Swaraj the “epitome of integrity, efficiency” who had enormous commitment to work.
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was deeply saddened at the news. “Even though our ideologies differed, we shared many cordial times in Parliament.” Banerjee called Swaraj an outstanding politician and a good human being. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati also said she was saddened to hear the news.
The Congress party said they were saddened to hear about Swaraj’s “untimely demise”. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi called her “a brilliant orator, a wonderful person with a warm demeanour, and a strong opposition leader”. He said Swaraj would be remembered fondly “as an ever available” minister who helped “tons of people in distress.” “Indian politics is poorer with her loss.”
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he would remember her “as a dynamic and sensitive leader with the ability to empathise with the common people.”
Ex-Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he was “deeply anguished” to hear about her death.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin also tweeted to say he was distressed by the former minister’s death. “As a woman, she excelled in her responsibilities and achieved great heights in public life,” he said.
Actors Parineeti Chopra and Swara Bhasker were also among those who grieved Sushma Swaraj’s death. Chopra, who said she was from the same town as the former minister, said Swaraj had inspired her on a personal level. “Always felt proud that a woman from our small town made it big, and made a difference. Sushma ji rest in peace,” she tweeted.
“She epitomised dignity, commitment to democratic norms, grace in politics,” said Swara Bhasker.