Sushma Swaraj

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Sushma Swaraj
BJP Party leader Sushma Swaraj2.jpg
Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha)
Assumed office
21 December 2009
Preceded by Lal Krishna Advani
Chief Minister of Delhi
In office
13 October 1998 – 3 December 1998
Preceded by Sahib Singh Verma
Succeeded by Sheila Dikshit
Member of Parliament
for Vidisha
Assumed office
Preceded by Rampal Singh
Minister of Health, Government of India
In office
30 September 2000 – 22 May 2004
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Government of India
In office
19 March 1998 – 12 October 1998
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India
In office
16 May 1996 – 1 June 1996
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Education Minister, Government of Haryana
In office
Minister for Labour, Government of Haryana
In office
Personal details
Born (1952-02-14) 14 February 1952 (age 62)
New Delhi, India
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Swaraj Kaushal
Residence New Delhi
Profession Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Sushma Swaraj About this sound pronunciation  (born 14 February 1952) is an Indian politician serving as Leader of Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha. She has been elected six times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. At the age of 25, she became the Haryana's youngest Cabinet Minister and has also served as Chief Minister of Delhi.[1] In Indian general election, 2014, she is contesting from Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh.[2]

Early life[edit]

Sushma Swaraj was born in Ambala Cantt on 14 February 1952.[3][4] Her father was a prominent RSS member. She was educated at S. D. College, Ambala Cantonment and earned a B.A degree with majors in Sanskrit and Political Science. She studied LL.B. at Punjab University, Chandigarh, and practised as a Supreme Court of India Advocate from 1973.[5][dead link]

Political career[edit]

Swaraj began her political career with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s.[citation needed] She joined the Janata Party movement and campaigned against The Emergency. She was a Member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from 1977 to 1982 from Ambala Cantonment defeating then Minister of Defence (India) and 4 time Chief Minister of Haryana Bansi Lal by 63% votes at the age of 25 and then again from 1987 to 90.[6] In July 1977, she was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister in the Janata Party Government headed by Devi Lal. She became State President of Janata Party (Haryana) in 1979, when she was 27. She was Education Minister, Haryana in the Bharatiya Janata PartyLok Dal coalition government during 1987–90.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament[edit]

In April 1990, she was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha and remained there until she was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from South Delhi constituency in 1996. She was Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting during the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in 1996. During this tenure, she started live telecast of Lok Sabha debates.[citation needed]

Union Minister I&B & Telecommunications[edit]

She was re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha from South Delhi Parliamentary constituency for a 2nd term in 1998. Under the second Vajpayee Government, she was sworn in as Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting with additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications from 19 March to 12 October 1998. Her most notable decision during this period was to declare Film as an industry, which made the Film industry eligible for Bank finance. Prior to this, the film industry was financed by the underworld on heavy rate of interest. This one decision liberated film industry from the clutches of the underworld. She also started community radio by the Universities and other institutions.

Chief Minister of Delhi[edit]

She resigned from the Union Cabinet to take over as the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi in October 1998. BJP lost the Assembly elections because of rising prices and inflation. She resigned her Assembly seat and returned to national politics.

Contest against Sonia Gandhi[edit]

In 1999, BJP nominated her to contest against the Congress party's President, Sonia Gandhi, from the Bellary constituency in Karnataka, which had always returned Congress winners since India's independence. During her campaign, she addressed public meetings in Kannada. She secured 3,58,000 votes in just 12 days of campaign. However,she lost the election by 7% votes.[7]

Back in Parliament and Union Cabinet[edit]

She returned to Parliament in April 2000 as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. She was allocated to Uttrakhand when the new state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.[8] She was inducted into the Union Cabinet as Minister for Information and Broadcasting, which position she held from September 2000 until January 2003.

Union Health Minister[edit]

She was Minister of Health, Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs from January 2003 until May 2004, when the National Democratic Alliance Government lost the general election. As Union Health Minister, she set up six AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) at Bhopal (MP), Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Patna (Bihar), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Rishikesh (Uttrakhand).

Deputy Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha[edit]

Swaraj was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2006 from Madhya Pradesh. She served as the Deputy leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha till April 2009.

Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha[edit]

She won the 2009 election to the 15th Lok Sabha from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh by the highest margin of over 4,00,000 votes. Sushma Swaraj became Leader of Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha in place of Lal Krishna Advani on 21 December 2009.[9][10]

Distinctions and Records[edit]

In 1977, she became the youngest ever Cabinet Minister in the country at 25 years of age. In 1979, she became State President of Janata Party, Haryana State at the young age of 27. Sushma Swaraj was the First woman Spokesperson of a national political party in India. She has many firsts to her credit as BJPs first woman Chief Minister, Union Cabinet Minister, General Secretary, Spokesperson and Leader of Opposition. She is Indian Parliament's first and the only woman MP honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. She has contested 10 direct elections from four states. She has been a Member of Parliament/legislator for 30 years.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Sushma Swaraj is married to Swaraj Kaushal, a senior advocate of Supreme Court of India and a criminal lawyer who served as Governor of Mizoram from 1990 to 1993. Swaraj Kaushal was a Member of Parliament from 1998 to 2004. They have a daughter, who is a graduate from Oxford University and a Barrister at law from Inner Temple.[citation needed]

Positions held[edit]

  • 1977–82 and 1987–90 Elected as Member, Haryana Legislative Assembly.[5]
  • 1977–79 Cabinet Minister, Labour and Employment, Government of Haryana.[5]
  • 1987–90 Cabinet Minister, Education, Food and Civil Supplies, Government of Haryana.[5]
  • April 1990 Elected to Rajya Sabha(1st term)
  • 1996 Member, Eleventh Lok Sabha(2nd term).
  • 16 May – 1 June 1996 Union Cabinet Minister, Information and Broadcasting.[5]
  • 1998 Member, Twelfth Lok Sabha (3rd term).
  • 19 March – 12 Oct.1998 Union Cabinet Minister, Information and Broadcasting and Telecommunications (Additional charge).
  • 13 October – 3 December 1998 Chief Minister, Delhi.
  • November 1998 Elected from Hauz Khas Assembly constituency of Delhi Assembly. Resigned from Delhi Assembly and retained Lok Sabha seat.
  • April 2000 Elected to Rajya Sabha (4th term).[3]
  • 30 Sep 2000–29 Jan 2003 Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
  • 29 Jan 2003 – 22 May 2004 Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
  • April 2006 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha (5th term).[11]
  • 16 May 2009 Elected to the 15th Lok Sabha (6th term).[5]
  • 3 June 2009 Elected as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.[5]
  • 21 Dec 2009 Leader of the Opposition and replaced Lal Krishna Advani.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sahib Singh Verma
Chief Minister of the Delhi
Succeeded by
Sheila Dikshit