Meira Kumar

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Meira Kumar
Meira Kumar.jpg
15th Speaker of the Lok Sabha
In office
4 June 2009 – 18 May 2014
Deputy Kariya Munda
Preceded by Somnath Chatterjee
Succeeded by Sumitra Mahajan
Minister of Water Resources
In office
22 May 2009 – 25 May 2009
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Saifuddin Soz
Succeeded by Pawan Kumar Bansal
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment
In office
22 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Satyanarayan Jatiya
Succeeded by Selja Kumari
Member of the Lok Sabha
for Sasaram
In office
10 May 2004 – 12 May 2014
Preceded by Muni Lall
Succeeded by Chhedi Paswan
Member of the Lok Sabha
for Karol Bagh
In office
Preceded by Kalka Dass
Succeeded by Anita Arya
Member of the Lok Sabha
for Bijnor
In office
Preceded by Chowdhary Girdhari Lal
Succeeded by Mayawati
Personal details
Born (1945-03-31) 31 March 1945 (age 72)
Patna, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Other political
United Progressive Alliance
Spouse(s) Manjul Kumar
Children 1 son
2 daughters
Alma mater University of Delhi

Meira Kumar is an Indian politician and five-time Member of Parliament who was the United Progressive Alliance nominee for President of India in the 2017 election.[1] She was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha and served from 2009 to 2014.[2][3] Prior to being a member of the 15th Lok Sabha, she had 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).

Kumar was the joint presidential candidate by the leading opposition parties for 2017 presidential election and lost the election to the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, but made a record for obtaining the most number of votes ever by a losing candidate(3,67,314 Electoral votes).[4].[1] She is also a lawyer and a former diplomat.

Early life[edit]

Meira Kumar was born in Arrah district, Bihar to the former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader, Jagjivan Ram, and a freedom fighter, Indrani Devi.[5]

She attended the Welham Girls School, Dehradun and Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls' Public School in Jaipur. She studied at Banasthali Vidyapith for a short duration. She completed her M.A and L.L.B. at Indraprastha College and Miranda House, Delhi University. She also received an honorary doctorate from Banasthali Vidyapith in 2010.[6][7]


Foreign Service[edit]

In 1975, she joined the Indian Foreign Service and spent her life in many countries.[original research?]

Political career[edit]

Meira Kumar entered electoral politics in 1985[8] and was elected, on INC ticket from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, defeating political heavyweights like Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati, two powerful Dalit leaders of Indian politics. She was a member of the 6th, 11th and 12th Lok Sabhas from Karol Bagh in Delhi. She lost her seat in the BJP wave of 1996, but was able to get re-elected with a significant majority from her father's former constituency of Sasaram in Bihar in 2004 and 2009.[original research?].In the 2014 general election, Kumar contested and lost to Chhedi Paswan from Sasaram by a margin of 327 votes.[9] [10]

She served in the Congress-led UPA 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. Upon being nominated for the position of Speaker of Lok Sabha, she submitted her resignation three days after assuming ministerial office. She was elected as the first ever woman speaker of Lok Sabha. She served as the Speaker from 2009 to 2014.

2017 Presidential Election[edit]

Meira Kumar was the UPA presidential nominee for the 2017 election, which she lost to the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind. Kovind got 2,930 votes (MPs and MLAs) amounting to Electoral College votes of 7,02,044 (65.65%) as compared to 1,844 votes amounting to 3,67,314 (34.35%) received by Meira Kuma. Kovind became the first ever BJP candidate to become President.[11] Despite losing by a margin of more than 3.30 Lakh votes, she polled the highest ever votes by a losing candidate, a total of 3.67 lakh votes out of 10.69 lakh valid votes polled.[12]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Somnath Chatterjee
Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Succeeded by
Sumitra Mahajan