- Sushma Swaraj announced today she would not contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls
- Ms Swaraj, 66, said she would not contest due to "health issues"
- Her husband showing support tweeted: "Even Milkha Singh stopped running"
As union minister Sushma Swaraj announced today that she would not contest any more elections, a big "thank you" was tweeted by her husband Swaraj Kaushal, who remarked - "even Milkha Singh stopped running". Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Minister and senior BJP leader, revealed her decision not to contest next year's polls at a press conference in Madhya Pradesh, where she is campaigning for the state election later this month.
"It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next elections," Ms Swaraj, 66, said in Indore. She had been asked the question by reporters who had suggested that she had not been active in campaigning for some time.
Shortly afterwards, her husband tweeted his response. "Madam - Thank you very much for your decision not to contest any more elections. I remember there came a time when even Milkha Singh stopped running," he posted from his restricted account.
"This marathon has been on since 1977 - that is 41 years. You have contested 11 direct elections. In fact you contested all elections held since 1977 except twice when party did not allow you to contest in 1991 and 2004," he wrote, adding, "I am also running behind you for the last 47 years. I am no longer a 19 years old. Please - I am also running out of breath. Thank you."
Ms Swaraj is the Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha, around 56 km from state capital Bhopal.
Sources in her family confirmed that Ms Swaraj needed to avoid infections and was taking precautions because of her health. "She has contested 11 elections, there is no political reason behind the decision," said a source.
Swaraj Kaushal, a former governor of Mizoram, is known for his Twitter zest and has often used the platform to show support for his wife. In June, he was furious at those who trolled Ms Swaraj for punishing an official who allegedly humiliated an inter-faith couple when they applied for passports.
Recently, Mr Kaushal handled with humour requests for help to get the minister to unblock them on Twitter.
When a young woman tweeted that she would remain the minister's fan as she was amazing, Mr Kaushal replied: "Nice to hear that. I married her for the same reason."
In 2016, he won Twitter with his comeback to a question on why the minister didn't follow him even though he followed her. "I have followed her for 45 years - Can't change things now," Mr Kaushal replied, to everyone's amusement.
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