New Delhi, Aug 7 : Keeping their political differences at bay and displaying a unique personal bond with the deceased BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said the former External Affairs Minister lived a life of honour and she deservedly was admired by all.
"May you find the strength to bear your cruel loss", Ms Gandhi wrote in an emotive letter to the former Mizoram Governor Swaraj Kaushal, extending her condolences at the demise of his wife.
"You mush draw solace from the fact that Sushmaji lived a life of honour, filled with achievement and contributions to the country she loved; respected and admired by all Indians", she wrote and recalled that both (Sonia and Sushma) had developed a "warm personal relationship".
During UPA II, between 2009 and 2014, Sushma was Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha leading the charge against the Congress-led UPA dispensation, especially on the issue of corruption.
It is also worth mentioning that in 2004, Late Sushma Swaraj had vehemently opposed the idea of making Sonia Gandhi the Prime Minister and had even threatened to shave her head citing foreign origin of the Congress leader.
"...she (Sushma Swaraj) went as she had lived – active and engaged till the very end", Ms Gandhi wrote and hoped Mr Kaushal and his daughter Bansuri will find the strength to bear the "cruel loss".
"I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing away of your beloved wife, Sushma Swaraj. She was a lady of extraordinary gifts, her courage, determination, dedication and ability manifest in every position she held", Ms Gandhi said.
Above all, the former Congress president said, Sushma's warm personal qualities brought "a special luster to her years in pubic and political life".
Ms Gandhi, who incidentally became Late Swaraj's political rival in Bellary in Karnataka, lauded the manner Sushma Swaraj made herself "accessible to even humblest person" and established a warm rapport with people from all walks of life with her empathy and compassion.
Late Swaraj gave Indian diplomacy a "human face" as she could reach out to help every Indian citizen in distress, the UPA Chairperson said in her one page letter.
"Sushma ji was a superb orator, a great parliamentarian and had a rare gift or friendship that won her affection and admiration across the political spectrum. In our many years together as colleagues in the Lok Sabha, we developed a warm personal relationship and I feel her loss greatly", the letter ran.
Ms Gandhi maintained that the same courage and grit that was a hallmark of Sushmaji’s political life was truly reflected in her personal life as she faced her serious ailments with "incredible fortitude".
"She has left us when she was far too young, when she had so much more to contribute to national life, and that makes her death even more tragic. At this time of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with your daughter Bansuri", Ms Gandhi wrote. (UNI)