Ag­gres­sive, Lets the Work Speak for Her

Af­ter run-ins with Modi, her in­clu­sion in the Cab­i­net came as sur­prise to many

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics Modi -

There’s been much spec­u­la­tion over what role Swaraj would play in the new ad­min­is­tra­tion given her lack of per­sonal rap­port with Modi. Even on May 16, when the elec­tion re­sult was de­clared, she de­scribed it as the vic­tory of the party.

There­fore her in­clu­sion in the cab­i­net came as sur­prise to many. She had op­posed Modi’s anoint­ment as BJP cam­paign com­mit­tee chief in June and later she re­sisted his el­e­va­tion to prime min­is­te­rial can­di­date but did not speak out­side the party fo­rum.

Swaraj, 62, made her mark as Leader of the Op­po­si­tion in the 15th Lok Sabha when she took on the govern­ment on a host of is­sues. Her speeches were keenly watched and at times she drew for­mer Prime Miniser mo­han Singh in de­bate, both lead­ers re­sort­ing to Urdu cou­plets to score against each other. How­ever, her de­trac­tors said she was not up to the mark on cer­tain is­sues, in­clud­ing the de­bate on the for­ma­tion of Te­lan­gana. Swaraj has never been averse to tak­ing risks in her po­lit­i­cal ca­reer. She be­came a min­is­ter in 1977 at the age of 25 in Devi Lal’s cab­i­net in Haryana af­ter she de­feated Congress strong­man and de­fence min­is­ter Bansi Lal. At the time she was a mem­ber of the Janata Party. She be­came a Ra­jya Sabha mem­ber in 1990 and en­tered the LS in 1996 from South Delhi. Swaraj was In­for ma­tion and Broad­cast­ing Min­is­ter in the 13-day govern­ment led by Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee. She got the same port­fo­lio when she won the seat a sec­ond time in 1998 and later served as Health Min­is­ter. Swaraj was in­stru­men­tal in get­ting the BJP con­sti­tu­tion amended to pro­vide 33% reser­va­tion to women in all or­ga­ni­za­tional posts. In Oc­to­ber 1998, she ac­cepted the post of Delhi Chief Min­is­ter de­spite not be­ing too keen on it. The party lost the As­sem­bly polls a cou­ple of months later due to ru­n­away prices, es­pe­cially those of onions. She then re­turned to na­tional pol­i­tics.

re­la­tion­ship that has lost mo­men­tum ties with South Asian neigh­bours re­la­tions with China, both a chal­lenge and op­por­tu­nity peace with Pak and counter ter­ror

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