On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that she will not be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due to health reasons. The 66-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha has shattered many glass ceilings over the course of her political career, having been elected an MP seven times and an MLA on three occasions.
Swaraj began her political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Emergency in 1977. That year, at the age of 25, she joined the Haryana government as education minister, thus becoming the country’s youngest Cabinet minister.
Swaraj was also Delhi’s first female chief minister, holding that post from 13 October, 1998, to 3 December, 1998.
In 2007, she notched yet another achievement, becoming the first woman to be given the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. Incidentally, she received the award from Pratibha Patil, India’s first female president.
Swaraj contested the 2014 polls from the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh and was granted the portfolio of the Minister of External Affairs by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. As the external affairs minister, she gained popularity among the masses for being highly responsive to complaints and pleas for help on Twitter, in addition to her wit.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Nov 20, 2018 17:54 PM