(Image source from: Times of India)
Days after the death of former minister of external affairs of India Sushma Swaraj, the Indian Union Cabinet held a condolence meeting on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying tribute to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart said that Sushma Swaraj as external affairs minister transformed her ministry from being bound to the protocol to one oriented to "people's call”.
He also called to mind how she had advised him to deliver his first United Nations speech from a prepared text and not speak on the spot.
Sushma Swaraj on August 6 in New Delhi after suffering cardiac arrest.
The prime minister said he learned a lot from Sushma Swaraj and then spoke about his address at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
After she received him, he suggested that they sit together as he had to deliver his speech the next day, Modi said.
(Image source from: DNA India)
Swaraj inquired where his speech was and he said he never writes his speeches as he finds it difficult.
"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 minister taking care of the external affairs ministry..." Modi said.
The prime minister said he had undertaken a long journey and was also on fast due to 'navratri' but she insisted he shares 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 she had the courage to speak what she believed to be right.
Talking about to Swaraj's quick response to Indians facing problems abroad or related to the ministry, he said she transformed the ministry.
“It used to be bound to protocol but she transformed it and made it oriented to people's call,” he said.
BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and party's working president J P Nadda, besides Anand Sharma of the Congress, Dinesh Trivedi of the Trinamool Congress, Pinaki Misra of the Biju Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party’s Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant and opposition leader Sharad Yadav were among others who spoke at the condolence meeting.
By Sowmya Sangam