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Sushma opts out of 2019 poll race 

New Delhi, November 20

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today opted out of the 2019 General Election, citing health issues.

Once considered among BJP’s prime ministerial candidates, she said she would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Candidates are decided by the party. But I have made up my mind that I won’t be contesting,” Swaraj was quoted as saying in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. “This is in keeping with my health,” the 66-year-old Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) MP, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2016, said, adding she had conveyed the decision to the BJP. 

Swaraj was believed to be among those not enthused when PM Narendra Modi was anointed the BJP’s chief campaigner in 2013. But while LK Advani was marginalised and relegated to the “margdarshak mandal” along with Murli Manohar Joshi, Swaraj was inducted into his Cabinet.

A prominent leader at the national level, she got elected to the Haryana Assembly at 25 and later served as Delhi’s first woman CM.

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