‘Historic day today’: Senior most Lok Sabha MP Maneka Gandhi ahead of parliament session in new building

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Maneka Gandhi, the Lok Sabha’s seniormost member, termed the commencement of Parliament session in the new building as a ‘historic day’.

BJP MP Maneka Gandhi speaks during an event organised in the Central Hall of Parliament on the occasion of the shifting of Parliament to the new building, in New Delhi.(PTI)

“This is a historic day today and I am proud to be a part of this historic moment. We are going to a New Building and hopefully, this grand edifice will reflect the aspirations of a new Bharat”, Gandhi said in her address to the
Central Hall of parliament’s old building.

“Today, I have been entrusted with the responsibility of addressing this esteemed assembly as the most senior parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha… I have spent most of my adult life in this institution and I have seen 7 Prime Ministers and the shaping of grand history”, the BJP leader, who won her first Lok Sabha election in 1989, said.

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“I had several terms as an independent member and finally joined the BJP under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Since then I have remained a proud member of BJP and this August House. I have tried to make the most of every minute I have spent here”, Gandhi said.

“This is a historic day. I am proud to be part pf this historical moment when a government under the leadership of PM Modi has undertaken to repair the deep-rooted asymmetry and to give an equal share to all of us women”, she added.

“My happiest moment was being given the responsibility by the Prime Minister, who coined the phase ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’. Within 2 years, we changed the thought of the country and the statistics show that it is a lasting change”, the BJP veteran said.

Maneka Gandhi’s parliamentary career

Having joined the Janata Dal led by Vishwanath Pratap Singh in 1988, Gandhi won her first Lok Sabha election in 1989 from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. She served as MoS Environment and Forest under VP Singh and later under Chandra Shekhar. However, she lost to BJP’s Parashuram in the 1991 Lok Sabha election.

She was re-elected to the same seat in 1996 Lok Sabha election as a Janata Dal candidate. However, Maneka Gandhi won Pilibhit in 1998 and 1999 as an independent candidate. She served as a minister holding different portfolios in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1998 to 2004.

She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2004 and won the election from Pilibhit for the fifth time. In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, she contested from Aonla in UP while her son Varun Gandhi contested from Pilibhit and won.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Maneka Gandhi returned to Pilibhit and emerged victorious. She served as Union cabinet minister for women and child development during Narendra Modi’s first tenure as prime minister.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, she was elected as Lok Sabha MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

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