The induction of Sushma Swaraj, who was seen as a dissenter after Narendra Modi was declared BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, is an acknowledgement of her stature and capabilities and who could not be overlooked.

62-year-old Swaraj was long being spoken about as the brightest second generation politician to lead BJP but the leader of opposition in the outgoing Lok Sabha was caught off-guard, like many others including her mentor L K Advani, by the Modi phenomenon.

While many joined the chorus and many others still reconciled to Modi’s elevation, she remained a voice of caution and at times dissent.

Whether it was the declaration of Modi as the party’s campaign committee chief in June, 2013, or his subsequent elevation as its prime ministerial candidate in September last, she chose to throw her weight with the discontent of Advani but did not take a public stand like her mentor.

But it appears that the party’s grand victory coupled with her own impressive win from Vidisha constituency and the need to put up an united front have ironed out Modi’s misgivings, if any, about her.

She too spoke about Modi’s “able leadership” and met him a couple of times during the parleys among top party leaders over the government formation.

An articulate speaker who can speak in chaste Hindi as well as English with equally felicity, the daughter of a RSS worker is also in the good grace of the Sangh top brass due to her strong espousal of swadesi and other familiar causes.

She had vowed in 2004 to shave her head if Italy-born Congress President Sonia Gandhi became the Prime Minister. Her emotive stand won her admirers among the nationalist hardliners even though it did not come to pass after Gandhi’s decision to opt out.

She had also contested against Gandhi from Bellary in 1999 and learned to speak in Kannada. She lost by over 56,000 votes but her spirited campaign added to her stature.

Swaraj has been elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. She also has the distinction of becoming the youngest cabinet minister at 25 in Haryana.

Swaraj began her political career with RSS student wing ABVP in the 1970s. Member of the Haryana Assembly from 1977 to 1982 from Ambala Cantonment, she was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister in Devi Lal government.

She became Janta Party’s State President in Haryana at the age of 27 and went on to become education Minister in the BJP–Lok Dal coalition government during 1987–90.

Later, she entered Rajya Sabha and was subsequently elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from South Delhi constituency in 1996.
She was Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting during the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in 1996.

She resigned from the Cabinet in the next Vajpayee regime to take over as the first female Chief Minister of Delhi in October 1998.
Though it could not save the party from a humiliating loss in the state assembly. She was later made Health minister in the Union government.

(With inputs from PTI)



Sushma Swaraj in UN: Such countries (Pakistan) should have no place in global community
Tue, Sep 27, 2016

“Did we impose any conditions when we invited the PM to the oath taking ceremony? Did we impose any preconditions when Modi travelled from Kabul to Lahore?,” asked Swaraj.

Sushma Swaraj condoles death of ‘noble’ Pak philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi
Sat, Jul 09, 2016

Abdul Sattar Edhi's humanitarian work had earned him several Nobel peace prize nominations.

Yechury demands action against BJP-linked group for ‘brazenly misusing’ govt offices
Wed, Jun 15, 2016

Sitaram Yechury had earlier raised objections to the outfit, Overseas Friends of BJP, Malaysia, making such a declaration through a poster and written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Sushma Swaraj extends help to Indian worker trapped ‘in limbo’ in Oman
Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Bikku, who came to Oman on a visit visa, took up a job without following official procedures. He is now battling for life at a hospital in Muscat without much help.

Sushma Swaraj’s hilariously honest response on Twitter to a man who wanted his refrigerator fixed
Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Sushma Swaraj is known for reaching out to people in distress via Twitter. But this was unusually different.

Sushma Swaraj to flag-off first batch of Kailash Mansarovar yatris today
Sat, Jun 11, 2016

Ministry of External Affairs organises the yatra during June to September every year

Sushma Swaraj tweets: Shake hands with Africans, tell them India loves them
Thu, Jun 02, 2016

"I appeal to fellow Indians. Next time you meet an African citizen, pl shake hand and say 'India loves you'," the minister tweeted.

Attack on Africans hints at ‘International Jungle-Raj’: JD(U)
Wed, Jun 01, 2016

Janta Dal (U) remarks on attacks on Africans comes in a wake between External Affairs Minister and delegation of African student in Delhi.

Sushma Swaraj meets African envoys, says Congo student’s murder not a racist attack
Wed, Jun 01, 2016

Sushma Swaraj said that her ministry will initiate programs aimed at sensitising locals about African students in areas where their numbers are high.

Sushma Swaraj arranges medical seat for Pak girl Mashal in Karnataka
Tue, May 31, 2016

Mashal, whose both parents are doctors, had scored 91 per cent marks in her CBSE Class XII examination this year.

Attack on Africans: Sushma Swaraj urges action, but VK Singh says ‘minor scuffle’
Mon, May 30, 2016

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Swaraj said she had spoken to Rajnath Singh and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to press for ensuring the safety of African nationals.

PM Modi thanks Swaraj for launching PMO India site in six languages
Sun, May 29, 2016

The six languages include- Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.

Attack on African nationals: Sushma speaks to Rajnath, LG Jung
Sun, May 29, 2016

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said government will assist the family of the Congolese youth Masunda Kitanda Oliver to come to India and to take his mortal remains.

Murder of Congolese national: African countries want ‘Africa Day’ put off
Thu, May 26, 2016

Oliver was beaten to death last week in Vasant Kunj area following a brawl over hiring of an autorickshaw

Congolese youth murder: Sushma steps in, says govt committed to safety of African nationals
Thu, May 26, 2016

Swaraj’s remark comes in wake of the brutal murder of a Congolese youth in South Delhi's Vasant Kunj on May 20.

Form high-level committee to look into crimes against women: DCW to Sushma Swaraj
Tue, May 10, 2016

Maliwal wrote to Swaraj after she sought a report from the Lieutenant Governor on the alleged molestation of a Belgian national by an Ola cab driver on May 7 near C R Park.

Sushma Swaraj’s health now stable, likely to be discharged soon
Sun, May 08, 2016

The 64-year-old Union minister was admitted to AIIMS on April 25 after she complained of chest congestion and fever.

Sushma Swaraj admitted to AIIMS after chest pain, doctors say she’s stable
Tue, Apr 26, 2016

A senior doctor said her condition was stable. She was admitted to the old private ward of Pulmonary Medicine Department around 5 PM.

Sushma Swaraj likely to visit Canada in June
Sat, Apr 23, 2016

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Canada in June to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural ties between the two countries, India's envoy said here.

Kerala nurse murdered in Oman; Sushma Swaraj condoles death
Sat, Apr 23, 2016

"I have asked Indian Ambassador to ascertain all the facts and report. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family," Swaraj tweeted.

Unmade in China
Wed, Apr 20, 2016

Counter-terrorism capacity and smart alliances — not UN resolutions — can make India safe.

In the Masood Azhar fiasco, a lesson for India: Time to get real
Tue, Apr 19, 2016

New Delhi needs to be clear-eyed about just how little the international sanctions regime is actually worth before deciding how to respond.

India, China agree to stay in touch on Masood issue
Tue, Apr 19, 2016

Earlier this month, China stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist

Double standards in dealing with terror is dangerous: Sushma Swaraj
Mon, Apr 18, 2016

Her remarks come in the backdrop of China stopping UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case "did not meet the requirements" of the Security Council.

Focus on Chabahar port project as Sushma Swaraj meets Iranian leaders
Mon, Apr 18, 2016

Enhancing energy cooperation and development of the Chabahar port were the centerpiece of talks which was mostly dominated by economic issues.

Sushma Swaraj to take up death of Indian students, bizman on Russia trip
Sat, Apr 16, 2016

She will go to Moscow from Tehran on Sunday where she will participate in the annual Foreign Ministers' meeting of RIC (Russia, India and China).

Sushma, Doval to raise Masood Azhar issue in talks with China
Mon, Apr 11, 2016

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi in Moscow on April 18, NSA Ajit K Doval will meet Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi on April 21.

Secured release of 4 Indians from Syria, welcome them home: Sushma Swaraj
Sun, Apr 03, 2016

They were brought back to India after Sushma Swaraj requested the Syrian Deputy Prime Minister to secure their release.

Christian priest ‘abducted’ by ISIS is safe, says Sushma Swaraj
Sun, Apr 03, 2016

The minister said that the “wild rumors being spread about any harm done” to the priest were “totally baseless”.

Sushma Swaraj holds meet on consular services for Indian diaspora
Tue, Mar 29, 2016

Started in 2003 and anchored by the erstwhile MOIA, it was an annual event that celebrated the Indian diaspora's success and deliberated on issues confronting them.

Church to meet Sushma as concerns mount over fate of abducted priest in Yemen
Tue, Mar 29, 2016

Reverend Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest, was kidnapped in Yemen on March 4 during a raid on a nursing home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

Govt making all efforts to secure release of Indian priest abducted in Yemen: Sushma Swaraj
Sun, Mar 27, 2016

Fr Uzhunnalil was reportedly kidnapped on March 4 after four gunmen attacked a retirement home in Aden run by the Missionaries of Charity.

Brussels Attack: Last call of missing Indian tracked to metro, says EAM Sushma Swaraj
Fri, Mar 25, 2016

Indian Embassy in Brussels is making efforts to locate Raghavendran Ganesh since the terror attacks at the Brussels airport and the metro which left 31 dead and 300 injured.

Pak probe team in India on March 27, PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif may meet in US
Fri, Mar 18, 2016

Swaraj’s announcement came after she met Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor

Modi gets invite for SAARC summit in Pakistan; Sushma and Aziz discuss Pathankot, Masood Ashar
Fri, Mar 18, 2016

Pakistan Foreign Ministry Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Thursday extended invitation for Prime Minister Modi to attend SAARC Summit, to be hosted by Pakistan later this year.

India and Pakistan talks at SAARC meet: will there be more than the usual rhetoric?
Fri, Mar 18, 2016

The usual narrative expected to play out is the following: while India will insist on progress on the Pathankot attack, Pakistan will say that its internal agencies are working towards that goal.