New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: February 14 marks the birth anniversary of Sushma Swaraj, an Indian politician who served as an External Affairs Minister during the first Narendra Modi government. Swaraj was only the second woman after Indira Gandhi to serve the portfolio in the history of Independent India and indisputably the most-accessible foreign affairs minister the nation ever had. On the occasion of her 69th birth anniversary, let's look at her illustrious career spanning over five decades.

Swaraj's political career began at the age of 25, when she was elected as a Member of Legislative Assembly in the 1977 Haryana elections. The same year, she was chosen as a cabinet minister in the Janta Party government headed by former Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal. By the age of 27, she had become the president of the Haryana unit of the Janta Party. 

Upon completing her six-year term at the Rajya Sabha in 1996, Swaraj was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from the South Delhi constituency in the 1996 elections. After the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power in 1996, Swaraj as given the Information and Broadcasting portfolio. The government lasted 13 days, though Swaraj remained a Union Minister until October 1998, before taking over as the first female Chief Minister of Delhi. She resigned from the post of Chief Minister within weeks after assuming office.

Upon her re-election to the 12th Lok Sabha, Swaraj was given the Information and Broadcasting portfolio again, which she served between 2000 and 2003, prior to becoming the Minister of Health, Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs. Between 2009 and 2014, she served as the leader of the opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Swaraj was given the External Affairs Ministry portfolio after the Bharatiya Janata Party returned to power in 2014 with an emphatic victory. She was indisputably the most-accessible Foreign Affairs Minister the nation ever had. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in bringing back Gita, an Indian girl who had been stranded in Pakistan for 15 years. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja