New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that there cannot be a bigger inspiration for the young Bharatiya Janata Party workers than the late Sushma Swaraj.
He was speaking at a condolence meeting in memory of the late Union Minister Swaraj who passed away on August 6.
“She gave her all in whatever work she was assigned despite having accomplished so much in her personal life. There cannot be a bigger inspiration in life for the young BJP workers,” Modi said.
Praising her work as the External Affairs Minister, PM Modi said that Swaraj transformed the Ministry’s protocols into “people’s call”.
“She showed how “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” can be actualised by the External Affairs Ministry. She considered problems of Indians in foreign countries as her own. She brought a complete change in the character of the foreign ministry,” he said.
“In the last 70 years, we had 77 passport offices in the country. And in her 5 years as EAM, we now have 505 passport offices, which shows the magnitude of her work,” Modi added.
The Prime Minister also said that though he was older to Swaraj, he learnt a great deal from her. Recounting an anecdote from the time he had just taken up as Prime Minister, Modi revealed how Swaraj did not let him speak extempore at the United Nations.
He said, “Before I was about to give my first speech at the UN, she asked me where my speech was and I said I’ll speak without writing it down. She strongly opposed the idea!”
“We prepared the speech overnight with her and the team. Later, she told me that no matter how great an orator you are, there are forums that have some decorums and practices which are important. This was the first lesson I learnt from her,” Prime Minister Modi added.
Concluding his speech, Modi said, “We are all with her at this moment, may God give us the strength to walk on the same ideals that she did.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also paid his condolence to Swaraj, saying, “We will never forget her contribution till the day we die. Her voice will continue to reverberate inside the Parliament.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP working President Jagat Prakash Nadda and other senior BJP leaders also paid their tributes to Swaraj at the condolence meet.