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Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, in a press conference in Indore on Tuesday, announced that she will not fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
News agency ANI quoted Swaraj as saying “It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest next elections.”
It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest next elections: External Affairs Minister and Vidisha MP Sushma Swaraj pic.twitter.com/G3cHC6pKGh— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2018
She has reportedly cited health reasons behind her decision. The veteran leader was forced to be away from her official engagements for months in 2016 because of a diabetes condition. She had a kidney transplant.
In November 2016, she posted the news herself on her Twitter account. "I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a Kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless," she said before her surgery.
Currently, Ms Swaraj is the Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha, around 56 km from state capital Bhopal.
At age 25, she became the youngest cabinet minister in the Haryana government in 1977. She was also the chief minister of Delhi in 1998.
Swaraj has a long distinguished career as a politician - she has been elected seven times as Member of Parliament and three times as an MLA.