Hundreds bid tearful adieu to Sushma Swaraj

The mortal remains of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj were consigned to flames on Wednesday at the Lodhi Road crematorium here. (PTI Photo)

Amid chanting of hymns, with moist eyes, leaders from across the nation and abroad bid a final adieu to senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who breathed her last on late Tuesday night.

Thousands of inconsolable party workers paid their last respects to the former external affairs minister at the BJP Headquarters, where her Sushma's husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri bid the former minister a farewell with a tearful salute.

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Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal and BJP working president J P Nadda turned pallbearers, carrying Sushma's mortal remains to a flower-bedecked vehicle at the BJP Headquarters.

The final journey began as the hearse rolled out across the street towards the Lodhi Road Electric Crematorium in a cavalcade of cars.

At the crematorium, Home Minister Amit Shah personally oversaw the preparations for the final rites as leaders cutting across party lines trickled in to pay their final respects to the departed soul.

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The body of the former minister, wrapped in a tricolour, was brought to the crematorium where she was cremated with full state honours.

Swaraj's daughter Bansuri carried out the final rites with her grieving father by her side and dignitaries including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP veteran L K Advani, former Bhutanese prime minister Tshering Tobgay, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ashok Gehlot, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and hundreds of others in attendance.

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Sushma's mortal remains were consigned to flames in the electric crematorium, amid sounding of the ceremonial bugle, gun salute and strains of Gayatri mantra in the background.

Advani, a mentor to Sushma, appeared shaken as the dignitaries got up to leave after the final rites.

Modi and Rajnath were seen holding Advani by the hand on either sides as they made their way out slowly.

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