NEW DELHI: The untimely demise of veteran politician Sushma Swaraj has sent shock ripples across the country. The beloved leader, who most recently served as minister of external affairs, died on Tuesday night following a massive cardiac arrest.
“A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi moments after her death.
The BJP stalwart held several unique distinctions and records in her political career that spanned over four decades. Here's a quick look at them:
1. Youngest cabinet minister
At 25, Swaraj became the youngest cabinet minister in 1977. She held the portfolio of education in Haryana cabinet.
2. First woman Chief Minister of Delhi
She became the first woman CM of Delhi. Her brief tenure lasted from October 13, 1998 to December 3, 1998.
3. First woman Leader of Opposition in Parliament
Breaking all barriers, she became the first woman Leader of Opposition in Parliament in 2019, replacing her mentor Lal Krishna Advani.
4. First woman spokesperson of a political party
She also became the first woman spokesperson of a political party after the Bharatiya Janata Party appointed her as the national spokesperson.
5. First woman recipient Outstanding Parliamentarian Award
In 2004, Swaraj was the first woman to receive the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for her overall contribution.
6. First full-time woman External Affairs Minister
During the first tenure of Modi government, Swaraj served as the first full-time Foreign Minister from May 2014 to May 2019.
7. Most followed woman politician on Twitter
In 2018, Swaraj became the most followed woman leader on Twitter with 11 million followers. Till Tuesday evening, before her untimely demise due to cardiac arrest, she continued to be the most followed woman politician on Twitter with over 12 million followers.
8. First Indian to address Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
Swaraj was the first Indian to address the 46th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting as the guest of honour in March 2019. It was viewed as a big diplomatic win for India, which came days after the ghastly Pulwama attack fo February 14 which claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF jawans.