Nine women ministers in Manmohan Singh government


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet will have nine women ministers, one less than the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Support TwoCircles

While Mamata Banerjee, Ambika Soni and Meira Kumar took oath of office last week, on Wednesday six more names were announced for the swearing-in ceremony Thursay.

Out of the six, three are first time ministers — Congress MPs Krishna Tirath (Delhi) and Preneet Kaur (Patiala, Punjab) and Nationalist Congress Party MP Agatha Sangma (Tura, Meghalaya).

While Tirath will be minister of state with independent charge Kaur and Sangma will both be ministers of state.

Kumari Selja, who was minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation with independent charge in the last government, will be holding the cabinet minister’s rank this time. She is the Congress MP from Ambala.

The other women ministers to take oath Thursday will be D. Purandeswari and Panabaka Lakshmi. Both have retained their minister of state status.

Banerjee, Soni and Kumar, who took the oath of office in the last swearing in ceremony Friday, have been ministers earlier.

Soni and Kumar were in the previous Congress-led government. Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee has been a central minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Banerjee now holds the railways portfolio.

There were 10 women in the previous Manmohan Singh-led government. Kumar was minister of social justice and empowerment and Soni headed the culture and tourism ministry.

Renuka Chowdhury, who was the minister of state for women and child development in the previous government, lost the Lok Sabha elections.

There were six women ministers of state in the previous cabinet: Panabaka Lakshmi, Kanti Singh (culture and tourism), V. Radhika Selvi (home affairs), Suryakanta Patil (rural development and parliamentary affairs), Subbulakshmi Jegidessan (social justice and empowerment) and Purandeswari.