LT. SMT. SUSHMA SWARAJ (सुषमा स्वराज)

LT. SMT. SUSHMA SWARAJ (सुषमा स्वराज)

SUSHMA SWARAJ-

Sushma Swaraj (14 February 1952- 6 August 2019) was one of the great leaders in Lok Sabha. (Nee Sharma) Sushma Swaraj born in Haryana in the family of Hardev Sharma and Laxmi Devi. She belongs to BJP and is a veteran of electoral politics. US-based Washington Post calling her the ‘Supermom of State.’

Political uprise:

She has been Member of Parliament (MP) for seven terms and MLA for three terms. She was also the Chief Minister of Delhi for a period of time.

She was a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from 1977–82 and then from 1987–90. In July 1977, she was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister in the Janata Party Government headed by Chief Minister Mr. Devi Lal.

She was Education Minister, Haryana in the BJP-Lok Dal Government of Mr.Devi Lal during 1987-90.

She was judged best speaker of the Haryana State Assembly for three consecutive years.

She was a cabinet minister in 1996 when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was in power.

She retained the Information and Broadcasting ministry and had an additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications from March 19 to October 12, 1998.

Sushma serves as the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi from October – December 1998.

Held the post of Minister of Information and Broadcasting, which she held from September 2000 until January 2003.

Held the post of Minister of Health and Family Welfare, and also held the post of Minister of Parliamentary Affairs from January 2003 until May 2004.

Minister of External Affairs of India (2014-2019) in the Narendra Modi government.

Political Challenges:

Sushma took on Sonia Gandhi in Bellary Lok Sabha constituency in 2004, when there was a wave against BJP in the region. Sushma offered a spirited fight but Sonia won through a very small margin of around 50,000 votes.

In 1980, 1984, and 1989, she lost the contest in the Lok Sabha elections from Karnal in Haryana. Every time, she was defeated by the Congress Party’s ChiranjiLal Sharma.

In 1999, she took on a high profile contest against the Congress party’s president, Sonia Gandhi, from the Bellary constituency in Karnataka, which had resulted in continued Congress win since India’s independence. The fervent, high-pitched campaign came to an end with the expected loss of Sushma Gandhi coming not too far behind with 44.7 percent against 51.3 percent to vote to Congress.

1. SUSHMA SWARAJ: LIFE highlights

She was born in Ambala Cantonment in Haryana and earned a BA degree. She studied LL.B. from the Law Department of Punjab University, Chandigarh. She married Swaraj Kaushal on July 13, 1975, and has one daughter.   

2. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS OF BJP’S IRON LADY WHO SMASHED STEREOTYPES

A supreme court advocate by profession, she began her political career as a student leader in the 1970s, organizing protests against Indira Gandhi’s government. She has been associated with many social and cultural bodies in various capacities. She was President of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Haryana for four years.

3. SUSHMA SWARAJ STARTED CAREER

Sushma Swaraj was a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from 1977-82 and then from 1987-90 as a Janata Party MLA in Mr. Devi Lal’s government. She was the Cabinet Minister of Labour and Employment (1977-1979).

4. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS OF SUSHMA SWARAJ

Under a combined Lok Dal-BJP government led by Devi Lal, she was the Cabinet Minister of Education, Food and Civil Supplies (1987-1990). She was judged best speaker of the Haryana State Assembly for three consecutive years. She joined the BJP in 1980.

5. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS (parliament)

She was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1990. In 1996, she was elected in the 11th Lok Sabha from South Delhi. She was Union Cabinet Minister of Information and Broadcasting in 1996, during the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government. She was re-elected in 12th Lok Sabha for a 2nd term in 1998. Under the second Vajpayee government, she retained the Information and Broadcasting ministry and had an additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications from March 19-October 12, 1998.

6. CAREER Journey

Sushma left the Union Cabinet from October – December 1998 to serve as the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi. The BJP lost the assembly elections, and she returned to national politics.  In 1999, she took on a high profile contest against the Congress party’s president, Sonia Gandhi, from the Bellary constituency in Karnataka, which had returned Congress winners since India’s independence. The fervent, high-pitched campaign came to an end with the expected loss of Sushma Swaraj and Sonia Gandhi polled 51.7 percent of the votes. Sushma Swaraj was not too far behind with 44.7 percent.

7. return to parliament

Sushma returned to Parliament in April 2000 as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand. She was re-inducted into the cabinet as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, which she held from September 2000 until January 2003. At that time, she was made the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, and also held the post of Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. She held these posts from January 2003 until May 2004, when the National Democratic Alliance government lost elections.

8. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

She was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2006 from Madhya Pradesh. She served as the deputy leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha. Became Minister of External Affairs of India (2014-2019) in the Narendra Modi government. Speculation ran high that Sushma Swaraj was one of the top contenders to be party president of the BJP, following Advani’s resignation from that role in late 2005. Rajnath Singh ultimately was elected for that post. 

How well do you know Sushma Swaraj?

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she won’t contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, owing to health issues. “It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next (Lok Sabha) elections,” …

Sushma Swaraj, who is known for her engaging social media presence, seems to be always a tweet away for people in need. She is known for not just instructing her staff on using Twitter, but also for interacting with her followers. For helping Indians across the world, she was applauded by both national and international media, with the US-based Washington Post calling her the ‘Supermom of State.’

 Here are incidences of quick action:

In 2015, she helped to rescue 168 Indians trapped in Iraq by acting on a video that was tweeted to her. A woman in Yemen, who was married to an Indian, asked for safe evacuation and tweeted a photo of her 8-month-old baby. Swaraj jumped in to help.

When Twitter user Geeta Sharma wished Sushma Swaraj “Happy Sunday Ji” with a tweet, Swaraj replied, “Geeta – There is no Sunday for my dear. It’s a happy working day.”

She also aided a man who was stuck in the US without a passport and was supposed to return for his wedding.

Life Events of Sushma Swaraj:

Swaraj was born in 1952 in the Ambala district in Haryana. Her father, Hardev Sharma, was a prominent RSS member. 

She got married to Swaraj Kaushal, erstwhile Governor of Mizoram and a Supreme Court lawyer. Swaraj has been active in politics since the Emergency. She has been elected as a Member of Parliament seven times.

At the age of 25, she became the youngest cabinet member in the Haryana Government. Within a span of two years, she became the president of the Janata Party in Haryana. Sushma Swaraj is the second woman to hold the office of foreign minister after former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

In 2014, Sushma Swaraj was elected from Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh. She won the elections by a margin of more than four lakh votes. Sushma Swaraj has held various portfolios in the Union Cabinet like Minister for Information and Broadcasting; Telecommunications, Health, and External Affairs. She also served as the Chief Minister of Delhi for a period.

She also became known for her ready wit when she exchanged banter with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during parliament sessions. After Swaraj announced her decision to withdraw from contesting next year, her wit was again evident in this gracious exchange with Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

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