New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed shock at the demise of senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, describing her as a great parliamentarian and an exceptionally talented Union minister.

"I was shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Sushma Swaraj. I have fond memories of my association with her when she was Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha," Singh said in his condolence message.

The former prime minister said Swaraj was highly respected by everybody irrespective of party lines.

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"She was a great Parliamentarian and exceptionally talented Minister of the Union Government. In her death our country has lost a respected and dedicated leader," he said. Singh had earlier visited Swaraj's residence and paid his last respects.

The body of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj was kept for three hours at the BJP headquarters for party workers and leaders to pay tributes, BJP working president JP Nadda said, adding that her last rites will be performed at the Lodhi Crematorium.

A pall of gloom descended at the hospital as the news of her death left everyone in shock.

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Defence minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, health minister Harsh Vardhan, environment minister Prakash Javadekar, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Union minister Smriti Irani were among the top leaders who visited the hospital.

"Her loss is irreparable and the void left by her can never be filled. It's a huge loss to the party and the nation," Nadda said.

The Delhi government this morning declared a two-day mourning in the state as a mark of respect to senior BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

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“Delhi government will observe two days state mourning as a mark of respect in the memory of former chief minister & senior leader respected Sushma Swaraj ji," deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.

Chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal condoled her death, saying the country has lost a great leader.

"India has lost a great leader. Sushma ji was a very warm and remarkable person. May her soul rest in peace," Kejriwal tweeted.