International Women’s Day 2020: Indian women who rocked the political scene

First Published 8, Mar 2020, 6:54 PM IST

Meet the 10 women politicians who influenced the course of Indian politics and proved to be powerful when compared to their counterparts
 

Indira Gandhi – Known as the Iron lady of India, Indira Gandhi was one of the most powerful Prime Ministers of India, who served two terms. By 1975, as a result of economic instability, her government was swamped by an avalanche of street protests, and after her election was deemed invalid, she declared an emergency.

Indira Gandhi – Known as the Iron lady of India, Indira Gandhi was one of the most powerful Prime Ministers of India, who served two terms. By 1975, as a result of economic instability, her government was swamped by an avalanche of street protests, and after her election was deemed invalid, she declared an emergency.

Sushma Swaraj - Seven-time Member of Parliament (MP) and three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Sushma Swaraj, the late BJP leader was also Union minister of external affairs of India. She is the second woman to hold this position after Indira Gandhi.

Sushma Swaraj - Seven-time Member of Parliament (MP) and three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Sushma Swaraj, the late BJP leader was also Union minister of external affairs of India. She is the second woman to hold this position after Indira Gandhi.

Mayawati - At present, Mayawati is the most powerful Dalit leader in India. Four-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, she belongs to the Jatav caste, which is at the upper end of the scheduled castes and communities. Her powerful influence over Uttar Pradesh's political spectrum has been revered by all the political leaders of the country and the general public.

Mayawati - At present, Mayawati is the most powerful Dalit leader in India. Four-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, she belongs to the Jatav caste, which is at the upper end of the scheduled castes and communities. Her powerful influence over Uttar Pradesh's political spectrum has been revered by all the political leaders of the country and the general public.

Jayalalitha - Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha Jayaram is also the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). She joined politics in 1982. In 1984, she became a Rajya Sabha MP. She was known for the reforms she brought in for the development of the state and a thanking gesture, the people of Tami Nadu christened her ‘amma’.

Jayalalitha - Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha Jayaram is also the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). She joined politics in 1982. In 1984, she became a Rajya Sabha MP. She was known for the reforms she brought in for the development of the state and a thanking gesture, the people of Tami Nadu christened her ‘amma’.

Mamata Banerjee - The first woman chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, popularly known as Mamata didi, dethroned the 34-year-old left front government in the state. She was also the first woman railway minister of the country. In 1997, she launched Trinamool Congress, an anti-Leftist party, to consolidate her position in West Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee - The first woman chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, popularly known as Mamata didi, dethroned the 34-year-old left front government in the state. She was also the first woman railway minister of the country. In 1997, she launched Trinamool Congress, an anti-Leftist party, to consolidate her position in West Bengal.

Nirmala Sitharaman - The 59-year-old is India’s first full-time woman finance minister. It was just in September 2017 that she was appointed the defence minister, marking one of the swiftest ascents in Indian politics; she had joined the BJP only in 2006. After all, no woman politician in India, except for former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had helmed these two critical ministries situated on either side of the ceremonial boulevard of New Delhi’s ultimate corridor of power, the Raisina Hills.

Nirmala Sitharaman - The 59-year-old is India’s first full-time woman finance minister. It was just in September 2017 that she was appointed the defence minister, marking one of the swiftest ascents in Indian politics; she had joined the BJP only in 2006. After all, no woman politician in India, except for former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had helmed these two critical ministries situated on either side of the ceremonial boulevard of New Delhi’s ultimate corridor of power, the Raisina Hills.

VS Ramadevi – She was the first woman to hold the post of Chief Election Commission of India, she was also the first Governor of Karnataka and also  the first woman to serve as secretary general of Rajya Sabha. She also served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh.

VS Ramadevi – She was the first woman to hold the post of Chief Election Commission of India, she was also the first Governor of Karnataka and also the first woman to serve as secretary general of Rajya Sabha. She also served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh.

Sheila Dixit - Sheila Dikshit was the chief minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2013. She is a senior member of the Congress party. She has led the national party to three consecutive electoral triumphs in the capital. She became the Governor of Kerala on March 11, 2014. However, she resigned from the post on August 25, 2014.

Sheila Dixit - Sheila Dikshit was the chief minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2013. She is a senior member of the Congress party. She has led the national party to three consecutive electoral triumphs in the capital. She became the Governor of Kerala on March 11, 2014. However, she resigned from the post on August 25, 2014.

Vasundhara Raje Scindia - Rajasthan's first woman chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia is one of the most powerful female politicians in India. Vasundhara Raje was introduced to active politics by her mother Vijayraje Scindia, who was a prominent BJP leader. Vasundhara was elected to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in 1985.

Vasundhara Raje Scindia - Rajasthan's first woman chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia is one of the most powerful female politicians in India. Vasundhara Raje was introduced to active politics by her mother Vijayraje Scindia, who was a prominent BJP leader. Vasundhara was elected to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in 1985.

Mehbooba Mufti - 56-year-old Mehbooba took a plunge into mainstream politics of the state in 1996 by joining Congress, along with her father, at a time when militancy was at its peak. She is credited with the growth of the PDP with some observers arguing that she outshone her father in connecting with the common people, especially the youths.

Mehbooba Mufti - 56-year-old Mehbooba took a plunge into mainstream politics of the state in 1996 by joining Congress, along with her father, at a time when militancy was at its peak. She is credited with the growth of the PDP with some observers arguing that she outshone her father in connecting with the common people, especially the youths.

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