It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next elections: Sushma Swaraj
Citing health reasons, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday made a major announcement saying she will not contest next Lok Sabha polls.
The senior BJP leader told reporters at Indore that she has “made up her mind” not to contest the elections.
“It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next (Lok Sabha) elections,” she said in Indore. Sushma, 66, has been elected to the current 16th Lok Sabha from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. She represented Vidisha in the 15th Lok Sabha as well.
Until 2014, Sushma was one of the contenders for the Prime Ministerial post and even skipped the Parliamentary Party meeting when Narendra Modi’s name for the Prime Minister’s post was about to be announced by the party ahead of the 2014 elections. She was Leader of Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha in place of Lal Krishna Advani and retained this position till May 2014.
Though inducted as External Affairs Minister in Modi’s Cabinet at the Centre, she was seen to be on the margins in terms of decision making, with the PMO itself playing the lead role in the matter of foreign affairs.
According to sources, if the party puts its seal of approval on Sushma’s decision to retire from the Lok Sabha contest, she may still be brought to Parliament through the Rajya Sabha route.
The senior BJP leader who all along been a member of the BJP’s highest decision-making body, the Parliamentary Board, underwent a five-hour kidney transplant in December 2016, at AIIMS, New Delhi.
The organ was harvested from a living unrelated donor.
One of the high points of Swaraj rise in the BJP ranks was her high-voltage contest against Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha polls in 1999 from Bellary in Karnataka.
She also raked controversy by opposing Sonia’s candidature as Prime Minister and threatened to shave off her head if Sonia became the PM.
Swaraj began her political career with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s. Her husband, Swaraj Kaushal, was closely associated with the socialist leader George Fernandes.
Sushma became a part of George Fernandes’s legal defense team in 1975. She actively participated in Jayaprakash Narayan’s Total Revolution Movement. After the Emergency, she joined the BJP.
Swaraj has also served as Delhi’s Chief Minister from October 13 to December 3, 1998, and was its first woman Chief Minister.
She has held several important portfolios at the Centre, including that of Information and Broadcasting.
A former Supreme Court lawyer, Swaraj is serving as the Minister of External Affairs since May 26, 2014. She is the second woman to hold the office after Indira Gandhi. read more posts…
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 | PNS | New Delhi–
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