Sushma Swaraj lost battle but won war against Sonia Gandhi: BJP leader

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Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi, Sept 20: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj finally revealed reasons behind her decision of opposing Sonia Gandhi's prime ministerial candidature in 2004. Explaining the situation which had occurred during 2004 election, Swaraj claimed that she had lost a battle against the Congress President but won the war.

Speaking at a book release, Swaraj on Thursday, Sept 19 said, "It hurt my sensibilities as even after culmination of British rule and the sacrifices made by fellow Indians, no (native) was there at that time to lead the country and a foreigner was being chosen."

Swaraj was responding to Congress leader Digvijay Singh's queries on why she had vowed to shave her head if Sonia Gandhi would have become prime minister of India. Singh too was present at the book release ceremony which was organised in New Delhi.

I fought against Sonia just to oppose her foreign origin

The BJP leader also claimed that she had fought from Bellary, Karnataka against Mrs Gandhi in 1999 only to oppose the latter's foreign origin. Swaraj had lost to Mrs Gandhi in Bellary.

Recalling the time, Swaraj asserted, "I lost the battle but won the war." Despite her victory and Congress party's decision of pushing her for the candidature, Mrs Gandhi had stepped aside in favour of Manmohan Singh as the prime minister.

Appreciating Mrs Gandhi's decision post-Lok Sabha election in 2004, Swaraj said, "I thank her (Gandhi) for honouring the sentiments of the people (for refusing the post)."

Swaraj, Digvijay Singh attended the book release of Pandora's Daughters' by senior journalist Kalyani Shankar. The book has been written on eight powerful women politicians of the country. The list includes -- Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj, Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, BSP supremo Mayawati, Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, former President of India Pratibha Patil, PPP leader in Jammu Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

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