Home >politics >policy >BJP’s Sumitra Mahajan becomes the second woman Lok Sabha speaker

New Delhi: Newly elected speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the distinction of being one of the longest-serving women members of Parliament (MPs). Mahajan, 71, is also the second woman speaker of the lower house of parliament or Lok Sabha. The first was the Congress party’s Meira Kumar, her predecessor.

Eight-time MP Mahajan began her political career in 1982 as a municipal corporator in Indore.

She was first elected to the ninth Lok Sabha in 1989 and has been a continuous presence in the house since then.

Since 1990, Mahajan has been on a series of parliamentary committees including health and family welfare and human resource development. She was also on committees that drew up landmark bills including the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Bill, 1991, which made the disclosure of the sex of a foetus or unborn child illegal. The move was aimed at curbing the practice of aborting female fetuses. She was also a member of a committee that examined laws relating to crimes against women.

In 1998, Mahajan was named BJP general secretary and in 1999, when then BJP prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee came back to power after a 13-month term in office, she was named minister of state for human resource development. She also served as minister of state for information technology besides petroleum and natural gas in Vajpayee’s cabinet.

After the 2004 national elections brought the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to power, Majahan was named a member of the consultative committee on civil aviation. She also served as chairperson of the standing committee on rural development that debated the landmark land acquisition bill piloted by the UPA.

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