Kamla Beniwal

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Kamla Beniwal
Governor of Mizoram
In office
6 July 2014 – 6 August 2014 [1]
Preceded byVakkom Purushothaman
Succeeded byVinod Kumar Duggal
Governor of Gujarat
In office
27 November 2009 – 6 July 2014
Preceded byS.C. Jamir
Succeeded byMargaret Alva
Governor of Tripura
In office
15 October 2009 – 26 November 2009
Preceded byDinesh Nandan Sahay
Succeeded byDnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil
Personal details
Born (1927-01-12) 12 January 1927 (age 92)
Gorir village, Buhana, Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan
NationalityIndian
Political partyIndian National Congress (retired)
Spouse(s)Shri Ramchandra Beniwal
ParentsKunwar Netram Singh Maan
Alma materMaharani College, Jaipur and Banasthali Vidyapeeth
OccupationPolitician
ProfessionAgriculture
EducationMA (History), BA (Economics, Political Science & History)

Kamla Beniwal (born Jan 12,1927) is an Indian politician. She has been a senior member of Indian National Congress party. She served as a minister on different posts and Deputy Chief Minister during different time in Rajasthan. Later she served as Governor of different Indian states between 2009 and 2014. She became the first woman minister in Rajasthan in 1954 at the age of 27. She served as Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 2003. She also served as governor of Tripura (2009), Gujarat (2009-2014) and Mizoram (2014). She has been the first ever woman Governor of any northeastern state. She was awarded Tamrapatra by former prime minister Indira Gandhi in recognition of her contribution in the freedom struggle.

Early life[edit]

She was born in the village Gorir in Maan (JAT) gotra in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. She was born as a daughter of renowned freedom fighter Kunwar Netram Singh Maan. She is married to late Shri Ramchandra Beniwal.

Student Life[edit]

She completed her primary education in Jhunjhunu district. She completed her BA in Economics, Political Science & History from Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Tonk, Rajasthan and MA in History from Maharani College, Jaipur. She is a proficient swimmer and horse rider which she learnt in Banasthali Vidhyapeeth.

In 1938, at the age of 11, she became the leader of Bal Sainik Dal and took part in the opening meeting of Prajamandal (a party association for independence movement in the former Royal State of Rajputana). From that time, she together with her Bal Sainik Dal graced their existence at all meetings of Prajamandal in various places of Rajputana. She led "Prabhat Pheries" with patriotic songs and mottos in the city of Jaipur and joined in the key parade with the national level leaders. At that time, she participated in Quit India movement for which she was awarded by "TamraPatra" from Indira Gandhi, the Prime minister of India.

In addition, she piloted the Ladies Volunteer unit at Udaipur during the event of All India State Peoples’ Conference where Sheikh Abdullah and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru delivered speeches.

Shortly after freedom in 1948, the inaugural Congress Session took place in Jaipur. At that time, she was studying post graduation in History in Maharaja College, Jaipur. Beniwal coached the Women Volunteer Corps and delivered excellent performance. The elegant and regimented attendance of the lady volunteers in the meeting awed all, even the top leaders such as Pandit Nehru.

Political Career[edit]

After completing her education she joined Indian National Congress.

In 1954, at the age of 27, she won the Legislative Assembly election and became minister in Rajasthan government. Kamla has been a minister in successive Congress governments in Rajasthan since 1954, holding various important portfolios including home, medical and health, education and agriculture. She was the revenue minister in the Ashok Gehlot government.

For a decade, from 1980 to 1990, she was a cabinet minister in the Rajasthan government. During this time she held a sheer diversity of portfolios such as Agriculture, Animal husbandry, Irrigation, Labor and Employment, Education, Art and Culture, Tourism and Integrated Rural development.

In 1993 she was no longer a minister but still was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Bairath(now Viratnagar), Jaipur. She become a cabinet minister again in 1998, and was the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 2003.

In her long career she has been closely associated with the functioning of the state Congress party and is a member of the All India Congress Committee. Among the party posts she has held as the joint secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee during 1977 elections, member of the Rajasthan Congress Executive Committee, President of the Rajasthan Mahila Congress, member of the Rajasthan Pradesh Election Committee, and then the Chairman of the Election Campaign Committee.

Kamla Beniwal was a minister in the State Government of Rajasthan for an extensive period of time, holding different cabinets. As a minister, she has served the Rajasthan Government for nearly 50 years.

She was appointed Governor of Tripura in October 2009. She was the first female governor of any state of Northeast India.[2] A month later, she was appointed as the Governor of Gujarat on 27 November 2009 where she served for more than four years. On 6 July 2014, she was transferred to the post of Governor of Mizoram.

Various Positions Held[edit]

Positions held for Indian National Congress

  • Member – All India Congress Committee, New Delhi.
  • Member – Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee.
  • Member – Rajasthan Pradesh Election Committee (PEC).
  • Member – Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Executive Committee, Jaipur.
  • Member – Jaipur Rural District Congress Executive Committee.
  • Chairman – Election Campaign Committee, Rajasthan.
  • Joint Secretary – Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee from 1977-80.
  • President – Rajasthan Pradesh Mahila Congress.
  • Member – Pradesh Congress Sub-Committee for drafting message with respect to the letdowns of the Bharitiya Janata Party Government in Rajasthan.
  • Convener – Rajasthan Pradesh Sadbhavna Yatra Publicity Sub-Committee.

Listed below are the various other positions that Kamla Beniwal graced:

  • Member of the Executive Committee of All India Panchayat.
  • Chairperson – Rajasthan State Social Welfare Board and per se launched the projects for Women and Child Welfare in the state.
  • Vice President, S.O.S. Children Village, Jaipur.
  • Executive Committee Member, Banasthali Vidhyapeeth, District Tonk, Rajasthan
  • President, Rajasthan Sanskrit Sahitya Sammelan, Jaipur

Positions held in Co-operative Campaign after 1955

Kamla Beniwal is one of the founder members of the Co-operative Movement and different important organizations in the state of Rajasthan. She held the following positions in these organizations:

  • President of Rajasthan State Co-operative Union, Jaipur.
  • General Secretary of Rajasthan State Co-operative Union, Jaipur.
  • Member, General Body, Executive Committee, and Governing Council of National Co-operative Union of India, Khelgaon, New Delhi.
  • Member, General Body and Executive Committee of All India Co-Operative Union, Jorbagh, New Delhi.
  • Chairman, Women Co-operative Advisory Committee (NCUI), New Delhi.
  • President, Co-Operative College Jaipur.
  • Member, Women Committee of International Co-operative Alliance, London – UK.
  • Member – Women Consultative Committee (NCUI) New Delhi.
  • Member – Co-operative Training College (NCUI), Jaipur.

Achievements[edit]

Other than being a quite senior member of the Indian National Congress, Kamla Beniwal is famous as a minister of good quality, honesty, and excellent performance. She had managed all the operations of her departments with comprehensive learning and diligence. She has lucid ideas about her task and was quite energetic to muster her officials to keep high standards of operation. As Agriculture Minister of the state, she was a key functionary in the setting up of Rajasthan Agriculture University in Bikaner.

As an Irrigation Minister, she completed the fabulous task of making district programmes of approximately 48,000 water harvesting plants in Rajasthan. As a result, a huge number of small, medium, and big projects are underway. This is certainly good news for farmers who suffer from drought.

She had a key role in setting up the National Institute of Ayurved, at Jaipur. With her firm endeavor, she has also set up a Sanskrit University at Jaipur.

Kamla Beniwal is one of the most committed and senior co-operators in India. She has served as the representative of the Rajasthan unit in National Co-operative Union of India in different ranks for nearly 20 years. As one of the limited and leading co-operators in India, Beniwal has been linked with the primary association of the All India Co-operative Union, Jorbagh, New Delhi, which is currently named as the National Co-operative Union of India (NCUI). From the very start of Co-operative Union, Beniwal was dynamically involved in the campaign to turn it into a real spokesperson establishment of the countrywide co-operative campaign. She received the Best Co-operator of India Award conferred by IFFCO in 1994 – 95.

Controversies[edit]

Jaipur land scam[edit]

Beniwal and many former Congress Ministers and political leaders from Rajasthan were accused by opposition leaders that they were allocated expensive land at low prices in Jaipur Development Authority area.[3]Beniwal communicated that the land was allotted to Kisan Saamrik Sahkarita Samiti for agricultural related activities.After the event Registrar of Kisan Sahkarita Samiti took strict action and setup a committee for investigation and found that Samiti presented a false report for land acquisition from government. This issue was discussed in Rajyasabha with lot of hot debates and speaker suspended the Rajyasabha for 15 minutes.

Appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta[edit]

The Lokayukta is a state-level body for monitoring the government, particularly for corruption. In August 2011, Beniwal appointed Justice R A Mehta as the Lokayukta. She did this under Section 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, which gives the governor the right to appoint Lokayukta without consulting the government,[4] when there has been a long delay in making the appointment. In so doing, Beniwal bypassed the Narendra Modi government of Gujarat, which had been sitting on the matter since 2004.

Justice Mehta had been recommended by the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court in June 2011,[5] but the government did not act on the suggestion. In August, the father of murdered RTI activist Amit Jethwa filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court, which then served a show cause notice on the government for the delay in the appointment of Lokayukta. In response, the Gujarat state cabinet set up another committee of five ministers to look into the matter.[6]

The unilateral action of the governor was challenged in Gujarat High Court by government of Gujarat. On 18 January 2012, Lokyukta's appointment was upheld by court.[7] Next day, government of Gujarat further appealed in Supreme Court by filing a special leave petition.[8] On 2 January 2013, Supreme court too upheld the appointment [9] while noting that the Lokayukta post lying vacant for nine years reflected a "very sorry state of affairs".[10] The bench said "the process of consultation by the Governor with the then Chief Justice stood complete, and in such a situation, the appointment of Justice Mehta cannot be held illegal". It noted that the Governor is bound to act under the advice of the Council of Ministers, but the appointment of Justice Mehta is right as it was done in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. It also observed that the Governor "has misjudged her role and has insisted that under the Lokayukta Act, the Council of Ministers has no role to play in the appointment of the Lokayukta".[11] Later on, on 6 July 2014, she has been transferred to Mizoram as Governor.


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal Axed for Misuse of Office in Gujarat". The Times of India. 6 August 2014.
  2. ^ NE’s first woman guv
  3. ^ "The Pioneer". Dailypioneer.com. 7 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Anna man is Gujarat Lokayukta". Times of India. 27 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Is Justice RA Mehta likely to be appointed Gujarat lok ayukta? - India - DNA". Dnaindia.com. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  6. ^ "R.A. Mehta is Gujarat Lokayukta - Yahoo! News India". In.news.yahoo.com. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Setback for Narendra Modi, Gujarat HC upholds Lokayukta's appointment". IBNLive.IN.com. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Gujarat government challenges Lokayukta appointment in SC". IBNLive.IN.com. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Supreme Court upholds Gujarat Lokayukta's appointment". NDTV. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Apex court upholds Justice Mehta's appointment as Gujarat Lokayukta". TEHELKA. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Setback to Modi as Supreme Court upholds Lokayukta appointment". TheHindu. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014.