Annapurna Devi takes charge as Women and Child Development minister

Annapurna Devi takes charge as Women and Child Development minister

New Delhi: Annapurna Devi on Tuesday took charge as the Women and Child Development minister and said she will work towards fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of a 'Viksit Bharat'.

Before taking charge, Devi, 55, met former Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani.

"I had a cordial meeting with the outgoing Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani ji at her residence and received guidance. I was overwhelmed by the affectionate welcome given by sister Smriti Irani ji and her style of greeting me with utmost affection. Her inspiring guidance will always be useful to me like a ray of light in discharging the responsibilities of the ministry," Devi said in a post on X.

Minister of State for Women and Child Development Savitri Thakur also assumed charge on Tuesday. She performed a puja in her office before taking charge.

With challenges such as raising the legal age of marriage for women, combating malnutrition among women and children, and addressing women's safety issues, the new ministers have their task cut out.

Devi's political journey began with her election to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in a 1998 by-election. She later served as minister of state for Mines and Geology in the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) government of undivided Bihar.

From 2005 to 2014, Devi was a member of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly and became a state cabinet minister in 2012.

She joined the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and contested from Koderma on the party's ticket. She defeated Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) by a substantial margin of 4.55 lakh votes.

In her latest victory, she retained the Koderma seat by defeating CPI(ML)'s Vinod Kumar Singh by a margin of 3.77 lakh votes.

Devi's influence extends beyond the mica belt of Koderma, impacting the entire state and establishing her as a key figure in the political landscape.

In 2021, Devi, once a close aide of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, was inducted into the Union government as the minister of state for Education.

Now, she has secured a seat in the Modi 3.0 government, a move seen as the BJP's strategic effort to consolidate a sizeable OBC vote bank ahead of the crucial Jharkhand assembly elections later this year.

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