Sushma Swaraj was a leading face of the BJP and its most prominent woman leader for decades. She will be cremated with full state honours at Lodhi crematorium later today.
Minutes before former External Affairs Minister and BJP stalwart suffered a massive cardiac arrest, she had asked senior Advocate Harish Salve to come and collect his fee of Re 1 for arguing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Speaking to news agency ANI, Salve narrated the sequence of his conversation with Swaraj last night. He said that Swaraj was like an elder sister to him and the two had spoken at 8:45 PM.
Salve said that Swaraj had asked him to collect his fee for representing the country at the ICJ and within an hour the news about her death came. Salve said that he was stunned to hear the news.
“For me, Sushma Swaraj ji was an elder sister. I was simply stunned yesterday on hearing about her demise. At 8:45 pm I had a talk with her. She said ‘you have to come and take your fees of Re 1 for Jadhav case’. Just 10 minutes post that, she had a cardiac arrest,” he said.
On Tuesday night, Swaraj was rushed to AIIMS after suffering a cardiac arrest but doctors couldn’t revive her. In the evening, Swaraj has tweeted to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his bold decision to scrap Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. “Narendra Modi ji, thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime,” she had tweeted.
Last month, in a major diplomatic victory for India, the ICJ had granted consular access to Jadhav and ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to the Indian national by its military court. Swaraj was the External Affairs minister when New Delhi had taken the case to the ICJ. After ICJ verdict last month, she had thanked Salve for successfully presenting India’s case before the international court.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the verdict of International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav. It is a great victory for India. I thank Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi for our initiative to take Jadhav’s case before the International Court of Justice. I thank Mr.Harish Salve for presenting India’s case before ICJ very effectively and successfully. I hope the verdict will provide the much-needed solace to the family members of Kulbhushan Jadhav,” she had tweeted.
Swaraj was a leading face of the BJP and its most prominent woman leader for decades. She will be cremated with full state honours at Lodhi crematorium later today.