New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on her birth anniversary, describing her as an exceptional colleague and an outstanding minister who epitomised dignity, decency and unwavering commitment to public service.

"Remembering Sushma Ji. She epitomised dignity, decency and unwavering commitment to public service. Firmly rooted in Indian values and ethos, she had great dreams for our nation. She was an exceptional colleague and an outstanding minister," Modi tweeted. Swaraj, who served as the external affairs minister in the previous BJP-led NDA government, passed away in August last year.

 

On the eve of her birth anniversary, the Central government on Thursday renamed the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra and Foreign Service Institute in the national capital after Swaraj for her "invaluable contribution" to Indian diplomacy, the cause of the Indian diaspora and the ethos of public service. 

Holding various portfolios in the Union Cabinet, she has been minister for Information and Broadcasting (during the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in 1996 when she started live telecast of Lok Sabha debates), minister for information and broadcasting; telecommunications and health minister.

She was elected from Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh in 2014.

As foreign minister, Swaraj changed the face of the ministry by extending a helping hand to many Indians in distress abroad and acquired a reputation as one of the most accessible ministers in the first term of the Narendra Modi government. She died months after she was replaced by S Jaishankar in the second Modi government.

Sushma Swaraj was honoured posthumously with Padma Vibhushan in this year’s Republic Day awards.

Sushma Swaraj died of cardiac arrest in August last year.