Sushma Swaraj 4
Sushma Swaraj Image Credit: PTI

NEW DELHI: Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away after suffering a heart attack in the capital late on Tuesday, according to Indian media.

She was 67.

In a series of tweets, Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi gave glowing tributes to Swaraj, saying: "Sushma Ji was a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian. She was admired and revered across party lines. She was uncompromising when it came to matters of ideology and interests of the BJP, whose growth she immensely contributed to."

Excellent administrator

Modi admired Swaraj for being "an excellent administrator, Sushma Ji set high standards in every Ministry she handled. She played a key role in bettering India’s ties with various nations."

Modi added that when Swaraj was India's foreign affairs minister, "we also saw her compassionate side, helping fellow Indians who were in distress in any part of the world."

Indian politician Rahul Gandhi expressed shock when heard the news about Swaraj's death, branding her as "an extraordinary political leader, a gifted orator & an exceptional Parliamentarian, with friendships across party lines."

Swaraj served as India's external affairs minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet from 2014 to 2019.

Swaraj, who was for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s most prominent woman face, did not contest the recently held Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons. The party won a massive majority.

Earlier, India media reported that she was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi following a heart attack.

A number of senior ministers have rushed to AIIMS.

Swaraj had put out a tweet in the evening congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Centre's bold move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament's approval.

"Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime," she said.

After undergoing a kidney transplant during her tenure as minister, Swaraj decided not to run for this year's general election, citing health issues.

More details to follow.