|Meira Kumar at Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliament|
|Speaker of Lok Sabha|
4 June 2009
|Preceded by||Somnath Chatterjee|
|Member of Parliament
|Preceded by||Muni Lall|
31 March 1945 |
Sasaram, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bihar, India)
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Children||1 son and 2 daughters|
|Residence||New Delhi, India|
|Alma mater||University of Delhi|
|As of June 3, 2009
Meira Kumar (Hindi: मीरा कुमार) is an Indian politician and a five time Member of Parliament. She was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha on 3 June 2009. She was born on March 31, 1945 in Bihar, India.
She is a lawyer and a former diplomat. Prior to being a member of the 15th Lok Sabha, she has been elected earlier to the 8th, 11th, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha. She served as a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of Manmohan Singh's Congress led Government (2004–2009).
In 1970, she joined the Indian Foreign Service and spent her life in many countries.
Meira Kumar entered electoral politics in 1985 and was elected from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh defeating political heavyweights like Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati, two powerful dalit leaders. She was a member of the eighth, eleventh and twelfth Lok Sabha's from Karol Bagh in Delhi. She lost her seat in the BJP wave of 1999, but was able to get re-elected with a record majority from her father's former constituency of Sasaram in Bihar in 2004 and 2009.
She served in the Congress-led Government as the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment from 2004 to 2009. In 2009 she was briefly inducted as member of the cabinet as Union Minister for Water Resources. On being nominated for the position of speaker, she submitted her resignation three days after assuming ministerial office. She was elected the Speaker of Lok Sabha, thereby becoming the first woman speaker of the country.
It has wrongly been misreported in Media that she had spent around 10 crore Indian Rupees to make foreign visits. The Parliament Secretariat claimed that some news papers had misreported and created the impression that this was spent on holidays abroad. It clarified that the money was spent not by her alone but by the Parliamentary delegation which included several MPs from all political parties, and that each and every visit was for official business. In her official capacity, the Speaker has to lead Indian Parliamentary Delegations to the Conferences of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), of which India is a member," the statement said. However the 29 trips made in a mere period of 37 months(an average of 1 trip per 37 days) is unprecedented and has been seen as sheer waste and misuse of public funds in context of a developing country like India.
- Meira Kumar Biography Govt. of India Portal
- Kamal Nath gives clean chit to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in bungalow controversy