The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi joined a Shradhanjali Sabha in remembrance of former Minister of External Affairs and one of India’s most respected leaders, Smt. Sushma Swaraj Ji on August 13, 2019 in New Delhi.
The list of eminent people who joined the prayer meeting included the likes of Home Minister and BJP National President Shri Amit Shah, National Working President Shri Shri JP Nadda, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj, former Minister Dinesh Trivedi, MP Pinaki Misra, , MP Satish Chandra Mishra, MP Rajiv Ranjan, MP Tiruchi Siva, MP A. Navaneethakrishnan, MP Namma Nageswara Rao, former MP Sharad Yadav, Union Minister Arvind Sawant, MP Prem Chand Gupta, MP Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP Anupriya Patel, MP Anand Sharma and many others.
Speaking at the prayer meeting PM Shri Narendra Modi termed Sushma Ji as a leader who diligently served India and highlighted various aspects of her public life.
Recalling her contributions, the Prime Minister said that every BJP Karyakarta was blessed to have closely interacted with Sushma Ji. He added, “Sushma Ji was a multifaceted personality and we, Karyakartas of the BJP have seen very closely what a great personality she was.”
The Prime Minster added that Sushma Ji never shied to take up a challenge. Referring about her decision to contest in Bellary Lok Sabha in 1999, the PM said, “I remember Venkaiah Naidu Ji and me going to Sushma Ji, and asking her to go to Karnataka to fight elections. The outcome was certain but she was someone who was always ready to take up challenges.”
The PM said that Sushma Ji was a powerful orator and her speeches were both impactful as well as inspiring.
Sushma Ji made MEA answer people’s call more than protocol
The PM further added that in any ministerial duty she held, Sushma Ji brought about a marked change in the work culture there. “One would conventionally associate the MEA with protocol but Sushma Ji went a step ahead and answered the people’s call, making the Ministry people friendly”, the PM remarked.
The PM recalled how the number of passport offices rose significantly during the tenure of Sushma Ji as the External Affairs Minister in the last five years.
The Haryanvi touch
Highlighting one of the lesser known aspects of Sushma Ji, the PM spoke about her Haryanvi accent. The PM said, “We are used to people saying politically correct things but Sushma Ji was different. She did not hesitate to speak her mind and she spoke with firmness. This was special about her.”
Sushma Ji could even tell the PM what to do
Recalling an incident when he was about to deliver his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, the PM mentioned how Sushma Ji had guided him what to do. He recollected the incident how Sushma Ji had helped him prepare his speech for the United Nations overnight. “She said, ‘aisa nahi hota hai bhai’ (It does work like this brother). ‘You have to speak about India to the world. You cannot speak as you wish’. I was Prime Minister and she was my colleague..,” Shri Modi said.
The Prime Minister said he had undertaken a long travel and was also on fast due to ‘navratra’ but she insisted he share his thoughts. The ministry prepared a draft speech for him, he said.
“It was her request…One may be a fine orator but there are some forums which have their own traditions. This was the first lesson Sushma ji had taught me,” he said, adding that she had the courage to speak what she believed to be right.
Shri Narendra Modi expressed condolences to late Sushma Ji’s husband Shri Swaraj Kaushal Ji and daughter Bansuri.