External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Tuesday, announced that she will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. She cited health reasons for her decision. Swaraj had undergone kidney transplant in 2016 and had recovered well.
A lawyer by profession, Sushma Swaraj started practice as a Supreme Court lawyer in 1973 at 21. She rose to prominence among political ranks when she organised protests against Indira Gandhi’s government. She was also part of George Fernandes’ legal defence team in 1975 during Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency.
Swaraj was elected to the Haryana Legislative Assembly from 1977-82 and then from 1987-90. She was the Cabinet Minister of Labour and Employment as a Janata Party MLA(1977-1979).
She joined the BJP in 1980. In 1980,1984 amd 1989, she unsucessfully contested elections from Karnal, Haryana. From 1987 to 1990, she served as the Minister of Education, Food and Civil supplies under Devi Lal’s Lok Dal-BJP government.
She was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1990. In 1996, she was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from South Delhi. She served as Information Broadcasting Minister during the 13-day government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In 1998, she was re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha. She retained the Information and Broadcasting ministry and had an additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications from March 19 to October 12, 1998, under Vajpayee’s second term.
Swaraj was also the first woman chief minister of Delhi in October 1998.
Following general elections 2014, Sushma Swaraj was assigned the Ministry of External Affairs in Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Swaraj won hearts when she used Twitter as a platform to help Indians in distress abroad.