Meira Kumar is first woman to preside over Lok SabhaJun 3rd, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Lead
New Delhi: From being a foreign service officer to a five-term MP and then a Cabinet minister, Meera Kumar has traversed a long way and a varied course that will come in handy to her in running the Lok Sabha that often throws itself into scenes of tumult.
Daughter of late Congress leader Jagjivan Ram, 64-year- old Kumar, Congress’ dalit face, had a steady rise in the echelons of power becoming the first woman to occupy the high office of Lok Sabha Speaker.
Ms.Kumar on Wednesday made history in the Lok Sabha when she was unanimously elected its Speaker and thus became the first woman to occupy one of the high Constitutional posts.
64-year-old Kumar, Congress’ dalit face, a former foreign service official and Union Minister, was elected after a resolution moved by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and seconded by Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee was approved by a voice vote amidst thumping of desks by the entire House
The career of Ms. Kumar in the rough and tumble of politics began when she quit her cushy IFS job and decided to fight the polls in 1985, a year before her father’s death.
She was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time from Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh in 1985, defeating Mayawati and Ram Vilas Paswan.
Ms. Kumar became an MP again in 1996 and in 1998 from Delhi’s Karol Bagh constituency but lost her seat in 1999 when NDA returned to power. She was re-elected in 2004 with a huge margin from Sasaram in Bihar, the constituency of her father.
In between, she had quit Congress for two years from 2000 citing differences with the party leadership. She rejoined the party in 2002.
The soft-spoken Ms. Kumar became a Cabinet minister in the 2004 government of Manmohan Singh. She held the Social Justice and Empowerment portfolio. -PTI