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|MoS for Environment and Forests|
July 2011 – Dec 2013
|Prime Minister||Dr Manmohan Singh|
|Preceded by||Jairam Ramesh|
|Succeeded by||Veerappa Moily|
7 June 1954 |
|Political party||Indian National Congress Resigned in Feb,2015|
|Spouse(s)||V. K. Natarajan|
|As of 26 January, 2007
Jayanthi Natarajan (born 7 June 1954) is an Indian lawyer and politician. She was a member of the Indian National Congress and has been thrice elected Member of Parliament representing the state of Tamil Nadu in the Rajya Sabha. Since July 2011, she has been the Union Minister of State (Independent charge), Minister of Forests and Environment. She resigned as minister of state for environment and forest on 21 Dec 2013.On January 30,2015, she announced in press conference at Chennai that she would be resigning from Congress party alleging that "specific requests" by Rahul Gandhi were the basis of whether industrial projects were given clearances by her ministry, and that he shifted from a pro-environmental position to corporate-friendly stand for the elections in 2014.
Jayanthi Natarajan was born in Madras, India. She was born to Dr C R Sundararajan and Mrs. Rukmini Sundararajan. Jayanthi Natarajan is also niece of notable social worker Mrs. Sarojini Varadappan. Her grandfather was M. Bakthavatsalam, a prominent Congress politician and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu between 1963 and 1967. She did her schooling from a prominent Chennai school, Sacred Heart Matriculation Higher Secondary School,Church Park. Jayanthi studied law and became a practicing advocate in Madras. Apart from her commercial practice she also did pro bono work for a number of social organizations including the All India Women's Conference, and the legal aid board.She also worked briefly as a newscaster for Doordarshan Kendra, Madras 
Her political career began when she was noticed by Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s. She was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1986 and once again in 1992.
Tamil Maanila Congress
During the 90's Jayanthi Natarajan and other leaders from Tamil Nadu who were unhappy with Narasimha Rao decided to break away from the party. They founded the Tamil Maanila Congress under G K Moopanar. Jayanthi Natarajan resigned from the Rajya Sabha and was re-elected in 1997 as a TMC member.
The TMC was allied with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and was a part of the United Front government in the centre. Jayanthi Natarajan was appointed Minister of State for Coal, Civil Aviation and Parliamentary Affairs in 1997.
Return to the Congress
With Moopanar's death the TMC leaders decided to merge with the Congress. Jayanthi Natarajan was noticed by Sonia Gandhi and appointed spokesperson for the party. She replaced Mr. Jairam Ramesh as Environment Minister on July 12, 2011 in the UPA led Union Government. She served as the Minister of State for Environment and forests (Independent Charge) from July 12, 2011 to December 20, 2013. She was allegedly asked to resign from her post to work for the Congress party in the run up to the General Elections of 2014.
Resignation from the Congress Party
Jayanti Natarajan resigned from the Congress Party on 30th January 2015. In a letter written to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Jayanti Natarajan accused the party machinery - specifically Mr. Rahul Gandhi - of having worked towards a campaign to malign her and her reputation. She also believed, according to the letter, that she was being made a scapegoat for the economic policy paralysis observed in the UPA-II government. Specifically, she believed that while she took decisions of halting certain industrial and infrastructure projects at the behest of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, certain sections of the party spread rumours that she was made to resign on December 20, 2013 due to her stance on these projects.