Sushma Swaraj, a Supreme Court lawyer and prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was born on February 4, 1952, in India. In the first Narendra Modi cabinet (2014–2019), Swaraj served as India’s Minister of External Affairs. After Indira Gandhi, she became the second woman to occupy the position.
She was elected to the Legislative Assembly three times and to the House of Commons seven times. She was the youngest cabinet minister of the Indian state of Haryana in 1977 when she was 25 years old. She also served as Delhi’s 5th Chief Minister for a brief time in 1998, becoming the city’s first female CM.
At the age of 25, she became the Haryana government’s youngest cabinet minister in 1977. At the tender age of 27, she was elected State President of the Janata Party in Haryana. Sushma Swaraj was India’s first female political party spokesperson. As the BJP’s first female Chief Minister, Union Cabinet Minister, general secretary, Spokesperson, Leader of the Opposition, and Minister of External Affairs, she has a long list of firsts to her credit.
She is the first and only woman to get the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in the Indian Parliament. She’s run in 11 direct elections in four different states.
Swaraj won the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh for a second term in the 2014 Indian general election, maintaining her seat by more than 400,000 votes. On May 26, 2014, she became the Union Cabinet’s Minister of External Affairs. According to the Wall Street Journal, Swaraj is India’s “most-loved politician.”
She decided not to run in the 2019 Indian general election owing to health concerns, as she was recovering from a kidney transplant and needed to “spare herself from dust and infection,” hence she did not join the second Modi government in 2019.
Sushma Swaraj died of a cardiac arrest on August 6, 2019, after suffering a heart attack in the evening and being transported to AIIMS New Delhi. At the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi, she was cremated the next day with full state honours.