In a massive political development, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday has announced that she will not be contesting in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While addressing a meeting in Madhya Pradesh's Indore, Sushma Swaraj made the announcement, in which she said, 'it is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest next elections':
Sushma Swaraj has cited health condition for her decision. She underwent a kidney transplant in 2016.
Currently, an MP from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, she has been elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
Sushma Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal took to Twitter to post a statement on her decision. In the tweet, he thanked her not contesting any more elections and even quoted 'there came a time when even Milkha Singh stopped running':
'Madam - Thank you very much for your decision not to contest any more elections. I remember there came a time when even Milkha Singh stopped running,'wrote Swaraj Kaushal on his Twitter.
The 66-year-old leader, who is serving her fourth term in the House and has long been one of BJP's most powerful woman representative.
Her political career started in the year 1977 when she became a member of the Haryana State Legislative Assembly and a Cabinet Minister in Haryana at the age of 25. She went onto become the President of Janata Party in Haryana in 1979 when she was 27.
In the year 2014, she was honoured with the "Outstanding Parliamentarian Award” becoming India’s first woman MP to be honoured with this award. In 2016, Foreign Policy magazine named her as one of its "global thinkers", in a list which also included the likes of Angela Merkel, Melinda Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.
A lawyer by profession, she obtained her degree in Law from the Department of Laws, Punjab University, Chandigarh.