The presidential race between Congress and BJP has become intense with both the national parties trying to woo the Dalit vote bank in the country with the presidential elections.
Soon after BJP’s unilateral choice for Ram Nath Kovind, current Bihar governor, UPA Chairman and Congress President Sonia Gandhi has announced former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will be the combined choice for UPA.
Daughter of late Indian Deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram, Meira Kumar has served in the diplomatic service of the country as an Indian Foreign Service officer before becoming Lok Sabha Speaker during the UPA rule.
Effectively, Congress strategy will take the sheen out of BJP’s game plan to placate the Dalit vote in the country. Though Ram Nath Kovind is likely to win the race owing to BJP’s majority in parliament and state assemblies, Meira Kumar is going to give it tough time to gain a brand image among the Dalits.
Born in 1945 to Congress veteran leader Jagjivan Ram from Bihar, who switched over to Janata Party in 1977 elections, she remained away from politics for a long time.
Meira Kumar was educated in law and M.A.(English) at Indraprastha College and Miranda House, University of Delhi (Delhi) and Madrid (Spain). She served as an IFS officer throughout her career before plunging into politics as MP from the Congress Party in 1985 and becoming the Lok Sabha speaker during the UPA regime in 2009 to 2014.
she has been elected to the 8th, 11th, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha and prior to becoming Speaker, she served as a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of Manmohan Singh’s Congress led Government (2004–2009).