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Meet Annapurna Devi, women and child development minister in Modi cabinet

Annapurna Devi, 55, succeeds BJP leader Smriti Irani, who was dropped from the new National Democratic Alliance government

Annapurna Devi,Modi Cabinet

BJP MP Annapurna Devi takes oath as a minister at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Union government at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Nisha Anand New Delhi

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PM Modi cabinet ministers: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Jharkhand, Annapurna Devi, will helm the Ministry of Women and Child Development in the Narendra Modi government’s third term, it was announced on Monday.

Devi, 55, succeeds BJP leader Smriti Irani, who was dropped from the new National Democratic Alliance government. Irani failed to retain her Amethi constituency in Lok Sabha elections 2024, which she lost to Congress’ Kishori Lal Sharma.

She is the only other cabinet minister in the union government besides Nirmala Sitharaman, who head the finance ministry.

The role of new minister of state in the women and child development ministry has been given to Savitri Thakur’, BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar.

Who is Annapurna Devi?

Considered a former close aide of Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Devi began her political stint with her election to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in a 1998 by-election. Her foray into politics happened following the sudden death of her husband RJD lawmaker Ramesh Yadav.

She has served as the minister of state (MoS) for Mines and Geology in the RJD government of undivided Bihar.

After Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, Devi remained a member of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly from 2005 to 2014. She has also served as a cabinet minister in the Jharkhand government in 2012. She oversaw women and child welfare, the irrigation ministry and registration department.

Annapurna Devi joined BJP in 2019

Devi joined the BJP before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. She contested the polls from Jharkhand’s Koderma, defeating Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). In 2024, she retained her constituency defeating CPI(ML)L’s Vinod Kumar Singh by a margin of nearly 400,000 votes.

Annapurna Devi served as union minister in Modi 2.0

She served as a union minister in the previous Modi government after being inducted as the minister of state for Education in 2021.

The move to induct Devi into the Modi cabinet is being seen as the saffron party’s effort to solidify OBC vote bank as her influence within the community resonates across Jharkhand.

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First Published: Jun 11 2024 | 10:32 AM IST

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