Nirmala Sitharaman

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Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman.jpg
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
Assumed office
May 26, 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Preceded by Anand Sharma
Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs[1]
Assumed office
May 26, 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Spokesperson for Bharatiya Janata Party
Assumed office
March 20, 2010
Personal details
Born (1959-08-18) 18 August 1959 (age 55)
Madurai, Madras State, India
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Parakala Prabhakar
Children 1
Residence Hyderabad, Telangana, India [2][3]
Alma mater Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, Tiruchirapalli
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Religion Hinduism

Nirmala Sitharaman (born 18 August 1959) is an Indian politician from the state of Andhra pradesh[4][2] presently serving as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce & Industry,[5] as well as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs which fall under the Ministry of Finance headed by Arun Jaitley. Until recently she served as a national spokesperson for Bharatiya Janata Party.[6] Currently, she has been allotted the MP seat (Rajya Sabha) from Andhra Pradesh[7] replacing former MP from Andhra Pradesh Mr.Nedurumalli Janardhan Reddy who died recently, this seat is allotted by Telugu Desam Party to Nirmala Sitharam, which is one of the major alliance partner of BJP led NDA Govt.

Early life and career[edit]

Nirmala was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu in Southern India. She attained B.A degree from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, Tiruchirappalli and MA degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1980 followed by Ph.D in Indo-European textile trade within the GATT framework, and then served at Pricewaterhouse Coopers as a Senior Manager and later for BBC World Service. [8] She is one of the founding directors of Pranava school in Hyderabad.[9] She was a former member of the National Commission for Women.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Nirmala Sitharaman joined Narendra Modi's ministry in May 2014. Until then, she was working as a part of a team of six spokespersons headed by Ravi Shankar Prasad, for Bharatiya Janata Party.[citation needed]

She joined the BJP in 2006 even as her Husband Dr. Parakala Prabhakar joined the Prajarajyam party floated by filmstar Chiranjeevi in 2007. While her husband grew disillusioned with Chiranjeevi's party and felt the need to quit the PRP that spoke of social justice. In the early 2000s, Dr Prabhakar was the spokesperson of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP. Meanwhile, Nirmala was slowly gaining in popularity in the BJP. It was during Nitin Gadkari's tenure as BJP president that Nirmala Sitharaman was enlisted as one of the six party spokespersons in March 2010.

Since then, she has been a regular on the news TV channels defending her BJP and its leaders including Narendra Modi. Interestingly, as party spokesperson, she became quite popular in the Modi-ruled Gujarat than in Delhi, where the BJP headquarters is based.

As a visible spokesperson of the BJP, Nirmala played an important role in the run up to the 2014 elections by effectively projecting the Modi-for-PM message. And even before the elections were held, it was a mass presumption in political circles that if the NDA indeed came to power, then Nirmala would make it to the Narendra Modi cabinet. In an election that not many thought would be that one-sided, the BJP vanquished the Congress with the former managing to get a simple majority on its own.

On May 26, Nirmala Sitharaman was sworn in as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce & Industry, as well as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs which fall under the Ministry of Finance headed by Arun Jaitley.

Personal life[edit]

She met her husband, Parakala Prabhakar, an Andhraite from Narsapuram, Andhra Pradesh while studying in London School of Economics. And like her, Parakala Prabhakar, a politician and political commentator from Andhra Pradesh, was an alumnus of JNU but while Nirmala leaned towards the BJP, her husband was from a pro-Congress family.[10] Her mother-in-law was a Congress MLA in Andhra Pradesh, while her father-in-law was a Minister in the Andhra Pradesh Congress Govt in 1970s.

In 1991, Nirmala and her husband returned to India from UK and moved to Narsapuram in the coastal Andhra Pradesh; Nirmala, who was expecting her first child, later shifted to Chennai for delivery. She got stuck in the hospital for over a week because of the unrest triggered by the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. Later, blessed with a daughter, the family made Hyderabad their home.

Nirmala is a founder member of Pranava School in Hyderabad and was a member of the National Commission for Women from 2003-05. It was during her stint at NCW that she came in contact with Sushma Swaraj who sounded Nirmala out for a role in BJP.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b "National Leadership from Andhra Pradesh - Official BJP site of Andhra Pradesh Nirmala sitharaman's address and contact information". 
  3. ^ "Official BJP National website". 
  4. ^ " Rajya sabha members". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "List of ministers in Narendra Modi's government". The Economic Times. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bharatiya Janata Party - The Party with a Difference". Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  7. ^ "Deccan Chronicle: BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman gets NJR Rajya Sabha seat". June 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ Mohua Chatterjee, TNN Mar 21, 2010, 02.13am IST (2010-03-21). "BJP gets a JNU product as its woman spokesparson - Times Of India". Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  9. ^ "Management | Pranava". Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News : BJP spokesperson finds her new role challenging". The Hindu. 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 

External links[edit]