Maharashtra pays tributes to Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj (PTI File Photo)

The family of Mumbai youth Hamid Ansari - who spent six years in a jail in Pakistan - paid glowing tributes to BJP leader Sushma Swaraj as Maharashtra joined the nation on condoling death of the former external affairs minister.

Ansari was released on 18 December last year from Pakistan.

The family was in touch with Swaraj,  who left no stones unturned to secure his release.

Similarly,  the family of Indian businessman Kulbhushan Jadhav too was helped by Swaraj and with her efforts, his mother and wife could meet him.

It may be recalled, Ansari had gone missing in Pakistan from 11 November 2012, and later ‘found’ on  14 January 2016, later underwent a prison term and finally returned to India on 18 December 2018.

"She will always remain alive in our hearts," said Hamid.

“Sushmaji went out of her way to help us secure Hamid safely back home,” recalls his father, Nehal Ansari.

“During the trying period, Sushmaji wrote as many as 96 officials letters to the Pakistan authorities on our son. She always responded positively to all our appeals for assistance and finally our son was freed with her intervention,” he said,  adding that she met the family a dozen times in New Delhi. "She was among those instrumental for Hamid's release," he said.

It may be recalled after the ICJ verdict last month - the Jadhav family that had stayed away from media - met Swaraj in the national capital.

In his message,  Maharashtra governor CH Vidyasagar Rao said: "She left her indelible imprint on every position that she held during her illustrious political career. I had the privilege of working with her closely in the Government led by late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.  She was a strong organization leader who supported and stood by me during crucial political agitations. A gifted orator, Sushma Ji addressed various rallies in Telangana, and I had the honour of translating her speeches during these meetings."

In his message,  chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said: "I’ve grown up listening to Sushma ji’s speeches, not just decades ago but her oratory inspires even today! I remember her for continuous guidance to me, her active participation during my every election campaign, her dedication towards the party and the nation."

Veteran politician and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said: "Shocked to hear about the sad demise of Sushmaji Swaraj. She would always call me ‘Sharad Bhau‘. We’ve lost a great statesman, eloquent orator, efficient administrator, fellow parliamentarian and above all a kind-hearted person."

"She was a tall politician and an excellent orator," state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said.

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