By Muskan Rani
On 7th July, Wednesday, the Cabinet of the Central Government was reshuffled, with a positive change towards gender equality. Seven women got placed in Mr. Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers. At present we have 11 women Council of Ministers but in the year of 2019 – there were only 6 women in the Cabinet. The highest number of women in the Cabinet was in the year 2013, in Mr. Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Renuka Singh and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti got a chance in Modi’s Council of Ministers for a second time. Seven new ministers who are added in the Council of Ministers include Anupriya Patel, Shobha Karandlaje, Darshana Jardosh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Annapurna Devi, Pratima Bhaumik and Dr. Bharati Pawar.
Nirmala Sitharaman continues to be a Finance Minister. Since 2016 she is a Rajya Sabha member in Karnataka. She is also a former Defence Minister from 7 September 2017 to 30 May 2019. She served as a member of the National Commission for Women between 2003-2005. Ms. Nirmala’s political career started in 2008. She joined BJP in 2008 and after 2 years, she was selected as a National Spokesperson for the party. In 2012, Sitharaman worked actively in election campaigns for the BJP. In 2014, she joined the finance ministry as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs. Sitharaman has also served as a Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry.
Smriti Irani is appointed as the Union Minister For Women & Child Development. She was earlier the Union Minister for Human Resource Development from May 2014 to July 2016 and Minister for Information & Broadcasting from July 2017 to May 2018. She was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2011 and re-elected in 2017. In her first Lok Sabha election in 2004 she lost to Congress’s Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk in Delhi and second time in 2014 general elections lost while contesting from Amethi. In the 2019 General Election, her sustained efforts in Amethi brought her an overwhelming victory .
Renuka Singh Saruta continued as Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. She is a MP from the Sarguja constituency in Chhattisgarh, which happens to be one of the major tribal belts of Chhattisgarh. She started her journey in politics in the years of 2000. She was Member, Janpad Panchayat from 2000 to 2003. In the year of 2003 she also worked as the minister of women and child development minister for two years in the state cabinet of Odisha. She served as a Member Legislative Assembly, Chhattisgarh for ten years. She was also the Vice-President, Sarguja & North Area Adivasi Development Authority (two terms) from 2005-2013. In the year of 2019 she became Member of Parliament from the Sarguja constituency in Chhattisgarh and since 30 May 2019 onwards she is serving as Union Minister of State, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Dr. Bharati Pawar took oath as a union minister in Modi’s Council of Ministers. She is a MP from the Dindori Constituency in Maharashtra. She is a Doctor and has done M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) from N.D.M.V.P’s Medical College, Nashik, Pune University. From 2012-2019, she was a Member, Zilla Parishad. In 2019, she was elected to Lok Sabha and since 2019, she has been serving as a Member of Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare; Committee on Petitions and Member of Consultative Committee & Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
After a gap of 2 years Anupriya Patel took oath as a union minister. She is a leader of Apna Dal and MP from the Mirzapur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. In 2009, she became President of Apna Dal. She served as a Member of Legislative Assembly from Rohaniya ,Varanasi Uttar Pradesh. In 2014 she was elected to Lok Sabha from the Mirzapur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. She served as the Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare between 2016 and 2019. In 2019 she was re-elected to Lok Sabha from the Mirzapur constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Darshana Jardosh took oath as union minister in Modi’s Council of Ministers. She is an MP from the Surat Constituency in Gujarat. Ms. Darshana started her political career started in 1988 as Vice President, BJP Ward 8 Committee. Over the years, she held several positions.
For e.g., in 1992, she served as an Executive Member, BJP Mahila Morcha, Surat; in 1996, she became its Vice President; in 1998 she was promoted as its General Secretary; and in 1999, she became the President of BJP Mahila Morcha, Surat. In 2002, she was the Chairman of Cultural Committee, Surat Municipal Corporation. In 2009, Ms. Darshana Jardosh was elected to the Lok Sabha and became a member of the Standing Committee on Chemicals & Fertilizers and Information Technology from 2009-2014. In 2014, she was re-elected to the Lok Sabha (2nd term).
Sushri Shobha Karandlaje took oath as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. She is a MP from the Udupi Chikmagalur Constituency in Karnataka. She started her political career in 2004 as Member, Karnataka Legislative Council. In 2008, she became a Member of Legislative Assembly, Karnataka.
In 2014, she was elected to Lok Sabha and served as a Member, Committee on Empowerment of Women and Standing Committee on Defence. From 13 May 2015 to 25 May 2019, she was a Member of Joint Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015. In 2019, she was re-elected to Lok Sabha (2nd term). She is currently serving as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Meenakshi Lekhi took oath as a Union Minister of State for the Ministry of External Affairs. In 2010 she started working with Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an organisation associated with RSS. In the same year, she joined Mahila Morcha (women’s wing) of BJP. Soon thereafter, she became the National Vice President, BJP Mahila Morcha. In 2014 she defeated AAP’s Ashish Khetan and got elected to Lok Sabha from New Delhi constituency. On 3 Nov 2017, she became a Member of Press Council of India. In 2019, she was re-elected to Lok Sabha from New Delhi constituency.
Annapurna Devi took oath as the Minister of State in the Union government. She is an MP from the Kodarma Constituency in Jharkhand. She started her political career in 1998 as Member, Bihar Legislative Assembly. From 2005 to 2014 she was a member of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly (two terms). Ms. Annapurna was a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Irrigation, Women & Child Welfare, Registration in Government of Jharkhand. In 2019, she was elected to Lok Sabha.
Pratima Bhaumik took oath as the Minister of State in the Union government. She is a BJP Minister and MP from the Tripura West Constituency in Tripura. In 2019, she was elected to Lok Sabha. She is serving as Member, Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution; & Committee on Absence of Members from the Sittings of the House.
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti took oath as Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Minister of State in the Ministry of Rural Development. She started her political career in 2014 when she was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha by defeating Afzal Siddiqui of BSP from Fatehpuri constituency, Uttar Pradesh. She served as a Union Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing Industries. In 2019, she was re-elected to Lok Sabha from Fatehpur.