Sushma Swaraj will not contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections; external affairs minister cites health reasons for decision

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said that she will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons.  The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) senior leader, who is 66 years old, is also the Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh.

Swaraj, addressing reporters in Madhya Pradesh, said: "It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next elections," Swaraj said.

It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest next elections: External Affairs Minister and Vidisha MP Sushma Swaraj pic.twitter.com/G3cHC6pKGh

— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2018

NDTV reported that posters appeared in Vidisha recently questioning the politician's continued absence. The report said, "BJP sources said the party may bring her back into Parliament through the Rajya Sabha."

In November 2016, Swaraj was admitted to AIIMS due to complications caused by diabetes. She tweeted before the surgery, "I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless."

Known as one of BJP's foremost leaders, has been a Member of Parliament for several years and is the first woman after Indira Gandhi to take the office of external affairs minister. She was also Delhi's first woman chief minister. Swaraj has held the Informational and Broadcasting portfolio at the Centre, and has been a spokesperson of the BJP and leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Swaraj was only 25 when she became a Haryana state minister in 1977. She also won the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2004. During the last two Lok Sabha polls in 2009 and 2014, Swaraj contested and won from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh.

 

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2018 15:26:01 IST

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