The significance of Swaraj’s announcement is its place and time — barely a week before polls in Madhya Pradesh where her colleague Shivraj Singh Chouhan is fighting anti-incumbency.
Springing a surprise, External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj announced Tuesday that she will not contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Citing health reasons, 66-year-old Swaraj, who represents Vidisha in Lok Sabha and is serving her fourth term in the House, told reporters in Indore: “It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next (Lok Sabha) elections due to health reasons.” She had undergone kidney transplant in 2016.
“After being elected from Vidisha as Lok Sabha MP, I was Leader of Opposition. Later, I was given the responsibility of External Affairs Ministry. Despite holding these prime posts, I used to visit all assembly segments in my constituency every month for nearly eight years. Doctors have advised me that I should avoid exposure to dust. Because of this, I am unable to take part even in election rallies,” she said.
“Due to health reasons, I cannot participate in outdoor public programmes… I have also told my party leadership, that in view of health reasons, I have to avoid such exposure,” she said.
The significance of Swaraj’s announcement is its place and time — barely a week before polls in Madhya Pradesh where her colleague Shivraj Singh Chouhan is fighting anti-incumbency. Though her health may be a reason, it fuels speculation about internal politics within the BJP given her formidable political seniority.
( Courtesy: Indian Express )