The Core Committee of the Congress Party, headed by Sonia Gandhi, chose Meira Kumar to be the next Speaker of Lok Sabha. If elected she would be the first woman to hold the post. She being a Dalit, the Congress high command feels that her choice would be politically correct.
Born in Patna in 1945, Meira Kumar is the daughter of the former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader, Babu Jagjivan Ram and freedom fighter, Indrani Devi. Her husband, Manjul Kumar is a Supreme Court lawyer and she has three children, Anshul, Swati and Devangna.
Meira Kumar graduated with a degree in Law and a Masters in English. She joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1973 and served at embassies in Spain, United Kingdom and Mauritius.
Meira Kumar entered electoral politics in 1985 and was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. She was also a member of the 12th Lok Sabha having been elected from Karol Bagh in Delhi. She lost her seat in the BJP wave of 1999, but was able to get re-elected with a record majority in 2004 from her father’s former constituency of Sasaram in Bihar.
Meira Kumar was inducted into the Manmohan Singh cabinet, as Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2004. Only two days ago Meira Kumar assumed charge as Minister for Water Resources in the new Union Government of 2009.