Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, 67, passed away after suffering cardiac arrest on Tuesday night in AIIMS Delhi. Shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing away of Sushma Swaraj, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi gave her condolences to her husband Swaraj Kaushal. In a letter addressed to the former Mizoram Governor, Sonia Gandhi has hailed Sushma Swaraj as a lady of extraordinary gifts, courage, determination, dedication and ability manifest in every position.
"It was her warm personal qualities that brought a special luster to her years in public and political life," she added in the letter.
Calling her a "superb orator" and "great parliamentarian", Sonia Gandhi added that she had a rare gift for friendship that won her affection and admiration across the political spectrum. The Congress leader went on to say that she felt her loss greatly, stating that in many years of their togetherness as a colleague in the Lok Sabha, they had developed a warm personal relationship.
Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had gone to Sushma Swaraj's residence and paid their last respects to the former EAM.
Notably, Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj share a unique relationship in the Indian political spectrum. In the 1999 Lok Sabha election, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had filed her nomination from two constituencies - Karnataka's Bellary, Karnataka, and Gandhi bastion Amethi in UP. At the same time, BJP had fielded Sushma Swaraj from Bellary in an interesting battle. While Swaraj lost the election Sonia Gandhi in Bellary by a very margin, their arch-rivalry went onto go till 2004. In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, when UPA (United Progressive Alliance) had won the majority, Sushma Swaraj has vowed to shave her head and don a white saree if Sonia Gandhi was named the Prime Minister.
Now, it is a well-known fact that Sonia Gandhi did not become the Prime Minister as Dr Manmohan Singh went on to take the charge for the post. Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi has had lauded Sushma Swaraj on various occasions.