Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda extended his condolences to the first female Cabinet Minister, Sushma Swaraj over her untimely death on Tuesday night, after having suffered a cardiac arrest in New Delhi.
In conversation with Republic TV, the former PM said that he had known the political leader for the past 40-45 years since her time as a general secretary in the Janta Party.
He said, "I know her from last 40-45 years, general secretary in the Janta Party. I only pray to the almighty that her soul rests in peace."
In a tweet, he said that he was 'deeply saddened by the sad demise'
The senior BJP leader was taken to AIIMS at quarter to nine in a critical condition on Tuesday evening at the country's pre-eminent medical institution, with senior BJP leaders such as Nitin Gadkari and Dr. Harshvardhan going to AIIMS as well.
The beginning of her political career dates back to 1970s, and at the age of 25, she was elected as an MLA from Haryana's Ambala Cantt Assembly seat.
In 1979, she became the state president of Janta Party, for Haryana at the age of 27.
PM Narendra Modi also condoled her demise in a series of tweets.
He spoke of her highly marking the event of her death as 'an end of a glorious chapter in politics'.
Calling her a prolific orator and outstanding Parliamentarian, he said the nation will grieve her death as she was an inspiration to all. He said that she was 'excellent administrator', and 'set high standards in every Ministry she handled'.