- The government accorded full state honours to Sushma Swaraj
- Sushma Swaraj and Swaraj Kaushal had been married for 47 years
- Sushma Swaraj died on Tuesday in Delhi at the age of 67
A grief stricken nation is saying goodbye to former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, who died last evening after a cardiac arrest. Since morning, thousands poured into her home and then at the BJP office to pay their respects to the leader whose term as the foreign minister during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
Shortly before the funeral procession started, Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri Swaraj and husband Swaraj Kaushal were seen saying farewell with a salute. The government is according full state honours to Sushma Swaraj, whom PM Modi described last night as "remarkable leader" with a "compassionate side" who not only played a key role in bettering India's ties with various nations, but also "helped fellow Indians in distress in any part of the world".
As the foreign minister, Ms Swaraj's interventions ranged from seeking information on relatives stranded in avalanches in other countries to families who needed help in bringing home a relative's body from abroad and even foreign nationals seeking urgent medical visa for treatment in India.
Political leaders across party lines visited Sushma Swaraj's home in central Delhi's Jantar Mantar Road this morning. Many, including Sonia Gandhi and LK Advani's daughter Pratibha Advani were seen hugging Bansuri Swaraj.
Sushma Swaraj and Swaraj Kaushal, who met as young law students, had been married for nearly 47 years. A Supreme Court advocate, Swaraj Kaushal also served as the Governor of Mizoram in the 1990s. The two appeared frequently on each other's Twitter timeline.
Last November, when Sushma Swaraj announced her intention to retire from active politics, Swaraj Kaushal had won over Twitter, saying a big "Thank you" and commenting that "even Milkha Singh has stopped running".
"This marathon has been on since 1977 - that is 41 years. You have contested 11 direct elections. In fact you contested all elections held since 1977 except twice when party did not allow you to contest in 1991 and 2004," he posted from his restricted account.
"I am also running behind you for the last 47 years. I am no longer a 19-year-old. Please - I am also running out of breath. Thank you," another tweet read.
Months before, he was furious with those who trolled Ms Swaraj for punishing an official who allegedly humiliated an inter-faith couple when they applied for passports.
In 2016, he had Twitter laughing with his response to a question on why the minister didn't follow him even though he followed her. "I have followed her for 45 years - Can't change things now," Mr Kaushal had replied, to everyone's amusement.