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 Karia Munda
Preceded by Somnath Chatterjee
Succeeded by Sumitra Mahajan
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Sasaram
In office
10 May 2004 – 12 May 2014
Preceded by Muni Lall
Succeeded by Chhedi Paswan
Personal details
Born (1945-03-31) 31 March 1945 (age 71)
Patna, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Manjul Kumar
Children 1 son, 2 daughters
Alma mater Faculty of Law, University of Delhi

Meira Kumar is an Indian politician and a five time Member of Parliament. She was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha and served from 2009 to 2014.[1][2]

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).

Early life[edit]

Meira Kumar was born in Arrah distict, Bihar to the former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader, Jagjivan Ram, and a freedom fighter, Indrani Devi.[3]

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.[4][5]


Foreign Service[edit]

In 1970, 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 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 Sabhas from Karol Bagh in Delhi. She lost her seat in the BJP wave of 1999, 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?]

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. Upon 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. She served as the Speaker from 2009 to 2014. In the 2014 general election, Kumar contested and lost to Chhedi Paswan from Sasaram by a margin of 63,327 votes.[6] [7]


External links[edit]

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