Sushma Swaraj: BJP’s gen-next woman of substance (Profile)

December 18th, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj, who Friday was elevated as the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, has an electoral profile not matched by any other second generation leader in the party.
She has been a minister in Haryana, chief minister of Delhi and has contested Lok Sabha elections from Haryana, Delhi, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

Her elevation is symbolic for the BJP as she will be the first woman leader of opposition from the Hindu nationalist party. An impressive orator, Sushma has been a top campaigner.

Widely respected in the party, Sushma, 57, shares good rapport with leaders across the political spectrum.

“She is a good orator and a master in parliamentary tactics. She is as capable as any of the existing leaders across the political spectrum,” said N. Bhaskara Rao, chairman, Centre for Media Studies.

As the leader of party in the Lok Sabha and prominent generation-next leader, Sushma will play a critical role in formulation of the party’s strategy in the elections.

BJP functionaries see her elevation as a long due recognition of her work and contribution to the party.

“She is one of the front-ranking second generation leaders who has been effective and visible for over two decades,” said G V L Narasimha Rao, a political analyst and a member of BJP’s national executive.

Born in Ambala Cantonment in a Brahmin family, Sushma was a cabinet miniser in Haryana during 1977-79 and 1987-90. She was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1990 and won her first Lok Sabha election in 1996 and has been a union minister for information and broadcasting and telecommunications. Though she has suffered electoral reverses, Sushma has always managed to bounce back.

She contested from Bellary in Karnataka against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in her first Lok Sabha election. During the recent political crisis faced by the party government in Karnataka, Sushma played the role of a trouble-shooter.

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