And the Congress-led opposition has spoken. On Thursday, the party officially announced former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their Presidential pick. Meira Kumar was rumoured to be the party’s frontrunner all this while. But the announcement has given the former diplomat the official lead.
Here are the top five things you need to know about Meira Kumar:
Who is Meira Kumar?
- Meira Kumar, Congress’ Presidential nominee, is a five-time Member of Parliament. Prior to being a member of the 15th Lok Sabha, she was elected to the 8th, 11th, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha.
- She 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.
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- She was elected unopposed as the ‘first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha’ and served from 2009 to 2014.
- She is a lawyer and a former diplomat and also served as a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led government (2004–2009). She joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1970 and served as an IFS officer and lived in many countries.
- She is the daughter of Dalit icon Jagjivan Ram, who also served as deputy prime minister of the country in the Moraraji Desai government.
Earlier this week, the Bharatiya Janata Party, officially declared former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as their Presidential candidate. The Presidential elections will be held on July 17. The new President of India will take office after current President Pranab Mukherjee finishes his term on July 24.