Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday announced that she won't be contesting the 2019 Lok Saba elections,
ANI reported. Swaraj reportedly cited health reasons for her decision.
During a press briefing at Indore, Swaraj said, “It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest next elections.”
The 66-year-old member of parliament (MP) from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh said she has conveyed her decision to the party leadership.
Before entering politics, Swaraj practiced as a Supreme Court advocate. Swaraj’s long stint in politics saw her being elected seven times as a MP and three times as a member of the Haryana legislative assembly.
At 25, Swaraj was elected as an MLA from Haryana's Ambala Cantt assembly seat. She was sworn in as a cabinet minister in the Janata Party government headed by then Haryana chief minister Devi Lal in July 1977, serving as labour and employment minister.
She again represented Ambala from 1987 to 1990 and served as Haryana's education and food and supplies minister in the BJP-Lok Dal alliance government.
In April 1990, Swaraj was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha. During her Rajya Sabha tenure between 1990-1996, Swaraj served in several committees, including as the chairperson of the committee on petitions.
In 1996, Swaraj was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha after winning from the South Delhi constituency. She served as the union minister for information and broadcasting during the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
Swaraj was relected to 12th Lok Sabha, her second stint in the lower house, from the South Delhi constituency. She served as the union minister for I&B and was given an additional charge of telecommunications.
Between March and October in 1998, Swaraj became the first chief minister of the national capital territory of Delhi, taking over from BJP's Sahib Singh Verma, and tasked to ensure the party's victory.
In 1999, Swaraj lost the Lok Sabha election against Congress president Sonia Gandhi from Bellary in Karnataka, but her efforts to garner over 3 lakh votes and her election speeches in the Kannada language while campaigning against Gandhi were lauded in political circles.
In April 2000, Swaraj was relected to the Rajya Sabha and was inducted in to the Prime Minister Vajapayee's government as I&B minister. Later, she was allocated the health and family welfare ministry and parliamentary affairs charge in a reshuffle of the cabinet.
Between 2004-2009, Swaraj was elected to the Rajya Sabha for third term in April 2006 from Madhya Pradesh and served as the deputy leader of Opposition in the upper house until April 2009. She also served in various committees, including as chairperson of the standing committee on home affairs.In 2009 general elections, Swaraj won from Vidisha constituency by the highest margin of over 4 lakh votes and became leader of opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha, replacing Lal Krishna Advani. Swaraj held the position till her party's victory in the May 2014 general elections.