Friday, May 29, 2009

Meira Kumar, the lone Bihari in union cabinet

New Delhi, May 28 Meira Kumar, who was today appointed as Union Minister of Water Resources, is the lone face from Bihar in the new cabinet.
Daughter of Deputy Prime Minister and late Dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram, Kumar (64) joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973 and served at embassies in Spain, United Kingdom and Mauritius.

She entered electoral politics in 1985 and was elected from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. She was a member of the eleventh and twelfth Lok Sabha from Karol Bagh in Delhi. She lost her seat in the BJP wave of 1999 but was able to get reelected with a record majority from her father&aposs former constituency of Sasaram in Bihar.

As the new Water Resources minister, she will have to work on the near-stalled River Inter-linking Project. The falling ground water table in several parts of the country would be another major challenge for her ministry.

As Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in the previous government, her brief was the enactment of Reservation Act and&aposaffirmative action&aposfor reservation in the private sector.

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 is considered her major achievements in the previous government.

But on the other hand, the SC/ST ( Reservations in Posts and Services) Bill, listed during the last Lok Sabha session, was stalled. Her attempts to give SC status to a child even if only the mother belongs to SC category also fell flat.