How well do you know Sushma Swaraj?

How well do you know Sushma Swaraj?

Earlier this week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she won't contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, owing to health issues. "It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next (Lok Sabha) elections," Swaraj was quoted as saying by PTI.

Here is a look at some facts about Swaraj that you may or may not know.

Social media maven

Swaraj, who is known for her engaging social media presence, seems to be always a tweet away for people in need. She is known for not just instructing her staff on using Twitter, but also for interacting with her followers.

For helping Indians across the world, she was applauded by both national and international media, with the US-based Washington Post calling her the ‘Supermom of State’. Here are some examples:

In 2015, she helped to rescue 168 Indians trapped in Iraq by acting on a video that was tweeted to her.

A woman in Yemen, who was married to an Indian, asked for safe evacuation and tweeted a photo of her 8-month-old baby. Swaraj jumped in to help.


When Twitter user Geeta Sharma wished Sushma Swaraj “Happy Sunday ji” with a tweet, Swaraj replied, “Geeta - There is no Sunday for me dear. It's a happy working day.”


She also aided a man who was stuck in the US without a passport and was supposed to return for his wedding. 

Sushma, the person and the politician

Swaraj was born in 1952 in Ambala district in Haryana. Her father, Hardev Sharma, was a prominent RSS member.

She got married to Swaraj Kaushal, erstwhile Governor of Mizoram and a Supreme Court lawyer.

Swaraj, 66, has been active in politics since the Emergency. She has been elected as a Member of Parliament seven times.

At the age of 25, she became the youngest cabinet member in the Haryana Government. Within a span of two years, she became the president of the Janata Party in Haryana.

Swaraj is the second woman to hold the office of foreign minister after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

In 2014, Swaraj was elected from Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh. She won the elections by a margin of more than four lakh votes.

Swaraj has held various portfolios in the Union Cabinet like Minister for Information and Broadcasting; Telecommunications, Health and External Affairs. She also served as the Chief Minister of Delhi for a brief period.

She also became known for her ready wit when she exchanged banter with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during parliament sessions. After Swaraj announced her decision to withdraw from contesting next year, her wit was again evident in this gracious exchange with Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.