Sushama Swaraj

Sushama Swaraj was born in New Delhi on 14 February 1952. 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. from Department of Laws Panjab University, Chandigarh. She started her practice as an Advocate before Supreme Court of India in 1973.

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.

Sushma Swaraj began her political career with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970. Sushma Swaraj joined the Janata Party movement and actively campaigned against emergency. She was a Member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from 1977–82 and then again from 1987–90. 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 only 27 years of age. She was Education Minister, Haryana in the BJP(Bharatiya Janata Party)-Lok Dal Government during 1987–90.

In April 1990, she was elected as a Member of Parliament and was in Rajya Sabha during 1990–96. In 1996, she was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from South Delhi Parliamentary Constituency. 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. She was re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha from South Delhi Parliamentary constituency for a 2nd term in 1998. She resigned from the Union Cabinet to take over the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi in October 1998.

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. 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. 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. 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.

In 1977, she became the youngest ever Cabinet Minister in the country at 25 years of age. She is Indian Parliament’s first and the only woman MP honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award.

Sushma Swaraj was the First woman Spokesperson of a national political party in India.

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