Indian lower house of the Parliament to get first woman speaker
64 year old Meira Kumar, A diplomat turned politician and 5 times MP is becoming the first women speaker of the lower house of the Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha.
This decision came as a surprise to many political observers as the Congress party's president Sonia Gandhi has pitched for Meira.
She was a cabinet minister in the UPA government was holding a portfolio of social justice.
Congress party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, Congress would be creating a historical milestone by opting for the first Dalit woman Speaker.
A diplomat-turned-politican, and the Congress' dalit face Meira Kumar has come a long way since entering electoral politics in the mid-1980s to becoming the first woman to be chosen to occupy the high office of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Ms. Kumar, who resigned as Union minister, is the daughter of late Congress stalwart Jagjivan Ram, and came out as a surprise choice over veteran Congressman from Andhra Pradesh, Kishore Chandra Deo, whose name figured prominently last fortnight as the person being tipped for the Speaker's post.
A five-time MP, the 64-year-old Kumar had quit the Indian Foreign Service in 1985 to join politics. She resigned from the Congress in 2002 citing differences with the party leadership only to rejoin it two years later.
Ms. Kumar first joined the government as a deputy minister in the P.V. Narasimha Rao ministry and was made a minister with a Cabinet rank when UPA took over the reins of power from NDA after the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
The decision to chose her for the Speaker's post comes just two days after she took charge of the Water Resources Ministry.