Politics wasn’t first choice as career; always wanted to serve nation: Bansuri Swaraj 

Updated - May 22, 2024 11:38 am IST

Published - May 22, 2024 01:06 am IST - New Delhi  

Making her electoral debut from the New Delhi parliamentary constituency, BJP candidate Bansuri Swaraj is carrying forward the political legacy of her late mother Sushma Swaraj.

A lawyer by profession, she says a career in the legal field was always on the horizon while politics wasn’t.  

Watch | Bansuri Swaraj on her entry into politics

“I joined the BJP when the party was expanding its legal cell in Delhi. I had received a call from the partyasking me to join it. I took it as an instruction and followed it,” she adds.

 The BJP leader says her father Swaraj Kaushal, a former Mizoram Governor, is the architect of her academic and professional life.  

Ms. Swaraj says she once considered taking up filmmaking and journalism as career. “During that phase, my father used to say that whatever you do, just remember that first it helps the nation and second, it should make sure you stay grounded,” she says. 

 “This made me take up the legal field. Even though I studied abroad, I always wanted to come back,” says Ms. Swaraj, who first studied English Literature at the University of Warwick and later pursued a law degree at BPP Law School in London.

Plunge in politics

After serving in the BJP legal cell, Ms. Swaraj was named the Delhi BJP’s co-convener last year. The leader says she takes her responsibility seriously. “If elected, I am ready to work hard for people,” she adds. 

While her opponent, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Somnath Bharti, has accused the BJP of promoting nepotism by fielding her, Ms. Swaraj says though she never asked for votes in the name of her mother, the former Delhi CM’s goodwill always followed her.  

 She has also taken cue from her mother, who was known to have a good equation with Opposition leaders.

“Though Mr. Bharti is my opponent, I have met him on several occasions and congratulated him on his nomination. See, we have different ideologies and beliefs but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be cordial with each other,” she says. 

 However, Ms. Swaraj understands the subtleties of politics. Wherever she goes, she seeks votes for Prime Minister Narendra Modi with folded hands.   

Her legal career, which spans over 15 years, has also shaped her campaign. She has served as an advocate in Supreme Court, and also represented cases in Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta High Courts.  

Enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi since 2007, she has often contacted young lawyers during her campaign and spoke about the taxing hours and difficulties of the profession, which helped her gain supporters.  

The BJP leader says if elected, she would work to establish an industrial hub for startups in her constituency to create new employment opportunities for the youth. Ms. Swaraj says she would encourage the police to use more drones for surveillance and night patrolling to improve women security.

Beyond politics 

Beyond her election campaign, Ms. Swaraj thinks of herself as a true “Dilli ki kudi’. She enjoys Delhi’s famous street food, and will readily give you a list of it if you ask. She says her day is not complete without black coffee and a piece of dark chocolate.  

She fondly remembers Friday night dinners with her mother, which her dog would gatecrash, and they would talk about everything under the sun and watch movies.  

“I think my mother has been with me throughout this election campaign. Wherever I go, she is there to bless me,” she says.

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