New Delhi, Aug 7 : Last rites of senior BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were performed at the Lodhi Road electric crematorium here on Wednesday afternoon.
Soon after her mortal remains were brought to Lodhi Road crematorium and placed on a flower bedecked platform, the top leadership of the country, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP patriarch L K Advani, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, paid their last tributes by placing wreaths. Members of the diplomatic corps, party workers and her admirers and friends were present in large numbers.
Her daughter Bansuri performed the last rites as her husband and former Mizoram Governor Swaraj Kaushal bid a tearful adieu. Her popularity, charm and appeal cut across party affiliations and it was evident during her final journey as senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma joined their BJP counterparts in paying their homage to the departed leader.
BJP's working president J P Nadda, former Bhutanese premier Tshering Tobgay, veteran politician Sharad Yadav, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Ministers Ravi Shankr Prasad, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Smriti Irani, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, Delhi's Lt-Governor Anil Baijal, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Deputy Manish Sisodia also laid wreaths.
Delhi and Haryana, where she was born, have declared two-day state mourning. As the former Foreign Minister was accorded state funeral, the buglers sounded the last post, arms were reversed and the last salute was given as her body was taken to the electric crematorium.
It was an emotional final farewell to Sushma Swaraj who was known for her oratory, soft diplomacy, grit and grace. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu broke down while laying wreath. BJP patriarch L K Advani was escorted by Prime Minister Modi and Rajnath Singh.
Over the past few months, Delhi has lost three of its former Chief Ministers -- Madan Lal Khurana of BJP, Sheila Dikshit of Congress and Sushma Swaraj who was Delhi's first woman chief minister.
Three years ago she had a kidney transplant and since then Sushma had to take a number of precautions to maintain her health. She did not allow her delicate health to come in the way of her discharging duties as External Affairs Minister.She breathed her last at AIIMS on Tuesday night after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. (UNI)