Sumitra Mahajan, an eight – time BJP MP, has been elected as the Speaker of 16th Lok Sabha.
She is the second woman Presiding Officer of the Lower House after her predecessor Meira Kumar. 71 – year old Sumitra Mahajan is also the longest serving woman MP.
Ms. Mahajan was born on April 12, 1943 in Chiplun of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, and became a municipal corporator in 1982. She started her political career at the age of 39 and became the deputy mayor and then an MP from Indore in Madhya Pradesh. She was a Minister of State in the Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet from 1999 to 2004, holding various portfolios of Human Resources, Communications and IT and Petroleum and Natural Gas. In Indore, she has got such a strong foothold that enabled her to never loose since she became an MP in 1989. She, however has lost the Indore Assembly thrice before becoming an MP. Within the BJP, Ms. Mahajan has grown from being President of the BJP Mahila Morcha in Madhya Pradesh in 1990 to being the national general secretary in 1998.
A lawyer-turned-politician, Ms. Mahajan is known for her simplicity, honesty and clean image.