Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said with former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's death, the nation has lost an excellent parliamentarian.
"It is a great loss to the country. She (Swaraj) was beyond any political party. Her association with leaders, people will always be remembered. In this country, whenever I draw a list of excellent parliamentarians, her name will always be in the list," Pawar told ANI.
Speaking about his association with the former BJP leader over the years he said, "I know her since 1977 when she got elected from Haryana and joined the government. After that, upon her joining the Rajya Sabha and then the Lok Sabha she was a well-known face, she was known to be one of the young and dynamic parliamentarians back then." Pawar praised Sushma's role as a member of the opposition in Lok Sabha during the UPA-I and II governments.
"During the 10 years of the Manmohan Singh government, she functioned as an effective member of the opposition. Although, she was attacked us while in the opposition, she always maintained good personal relations too. In Atal Ji's government and Modi government, we saw her working as an exceptional minister too," he added.
Sushma's true capabilities, Pawar said, came to light during her stint as the External Affairs Minister, and added that everybody was sad when she announced she wouldn't be fighting the elections in 2019.
"In her stint as the External Affairs Minister, we saw her developing excellent relations with global leadership on our side. When she chose to not contest in the Lok Sabha elections this time, we all said we were going to miss her," Pawar said.
Swaraj, the most prominent woman face of the BJP, breathed her last on Tuesday night after a cardiac arrest.On Wednesday, she was cremated with full state honours in the presence of various political leaders, including Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and many others.