Even Milkha Singh stopped running, Sushma’s husband had said
New Delhi, Aug 07: The death of Sushma Swaraj has left the nation shocked. A seasoned parliamentarian and former external affairs minister, she had won the hearts of millions.
Her decision not to contest the elections had also come as a shock to many. When she announced that she would not be contesting the 2019 elections, her husband had thanked her profusely.
"Madam - Thank you very much for your decision not to contest any more elections. I remember there came a time when even Milkha Singh stopped running," Swaraj Kaushal had said.
Swaraj had reporters that she had "made up her mind" not to contest the elections due to health reasons. "It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next (Lok Sabha) elections," Swaraj had announced.
After that her husband Swaraj Kaushal had said: "this marathon has been on since 1977 - that is 41 years. You have contested 11 direct elections. In fact you contested all elections held since 1977 except twice when party did not allow you to contest in 1991 and 2004."
"I am also running behind you for the last 47 years. I am no longer a 19 years old. Please - I am also running out of breath. Thank you," he added.
Swaraj had undergone kidney transplant in 2016.
"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 had 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," Swaraj had also said.
A spell-binding orator in Hindi, Swaraj was among the few top politicians capable of speaking in English with equal ease and has had a few rare distinctions, including being the youngest cabinet minister at 25 when she joined the Haryana government in 1977 and the first woman chief minister of Delhi.
She was also the first woman external affairs minister of the country. Indira Gandhi, though, as prime minister had held the portfolio.
Swaraj had also served in the Rajya Sabha for three terms and was a member of Haryana assembly- the state she comes from - twice.