Will Smriti Irani Become BJP's First Woman President?

Apart from Smriti Irani, other potential candidates for the position of BJP president, as per media reports, include Anurag Thakur, BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde, K Laxman, Sunil Bansal, Devendra Fadnavis, Om Mathur, and Om Birla.

Smriti Irani’s loss in the Amethi constituency during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections has sparked speculation about her potential appointment as the first woman president of the BJP. Irani, who previously defeated Rahul Gandhi in Amethi during the 2019 elections, did not find a place in the Modi 3.0 cabinet. Instead, Annapurna Devi, an OBC leader from Jharkhand, was appointed as the Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development.

According to reports from News18, the BJP is considering appointing its first woman president, potentially Smriti Irani. This move comes as the party looks to appeal to an increasingly diverse base of women voters who transcend traditional caste and religious boundaries.

In the party’s history since its formation in 1980, it has never had a woman president. Notable figures who have served as BJP president include Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kushabhau Thakre, Bangaru Laxman, Jana Krishnamurthi, Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Amit Shah, and JP Nadda, who is the current president and recently joined the cabinet.

Apart from Smriti Irani, other potential candidates for the position of BJP president, as per media reports, include Anurag Thakur, BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde, K Laxman, Sunil Bansal, Devendra Fadnavis, Om Mathur, and Om Birla.

The speculation regarding Smriti Irani’s potential elevation to the position of BJP president underscores the party’s strategy to consolidate its support base and broaden its appeal ahead of future elections.

Who is Smriti Irani?

Smriti Zubin Irani, a prominent figure in Indian politics, has made a remarkable journey from the world of entertainment to becoming a key leader in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Known for her assertive persona and influential political career, Smriti Irani has emerged as a significant voice in shaping India’s socio-political landscape. Here’s a comprehensive look at her journey, achievements, and political influence.

Early Life and Education

Smriti Irani was born on March 23, 1976, in Delhi, India. She completed her schooling at Holy Child Auxilium School in New Delhi and pursued a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree from the University of Delhi.

Entry into the Entertainment Industry

Irani entered the spotlight in the 1990s through modelling and was featured in numerous television commercials. Her breakthrough came with the iconic role of Tulsi Virani in the highly popular TV serial “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.” The show catapulted her to nationwide fame, establishing her as a household name in Indian television.

Transition to Politics

In a surprising move, Smriti Irani transitioned from acting to politics by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2003. Her decision was motivated by a desire to contribute to societal change and address national issues. Despite initial scepticism due to her entertainment background, Irani swiftly ascended within the party ranks.

Political Career and Milestones

Member of Parliament (MP): Smriti Irani contested her first Lok Sabha election in 2004 from Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi but faced defeat. She persevered and continued to strengthen her position within the BJP.

Rise to Prominence: Irani achieved a significant political milestone by contesting and winning from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, in both the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, defeating Rahul Gandhi. Her victory in Amethi, a traditional Congress stronghold, marked a major political shift.

Ministerial Roles: Appointed as the Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) in 2014, Smriti Irani implemented significant reforms in the education sector despite facing criticism and controversies.

Current Responsibilities: Following her re-election in 2019, Irani currently served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Her initiatives focus on women’s empowerment and boosting the textile industry.

Political Ideology and Contributions

Smriti Irani is recognized for her outspoken nature and strong advocacy for women’s rights and development. She has championed policies promoting skill development, educational reforms, and initiatives to empower women socially and economically. Her tenure has been characterized by proactive measures to tackle issues like malnutrition, child welfare, and improving educational standards nationwide.

Personal Life and Interests

Beyond her political commitments, Smriti Irani is a devoted wife to Zubin Irani and a mother of three children. Her interests include reading, social work, and engaging with grassroots initiatives aimed at uplifting marginalized communities.

Smriti Irani’s journey from television screens to the political arena exemplifies resilience, determination, and a commitment to public service. Her dynamic leadership style and advocacy for socio-economic reforms continue to shape India’s developmental narrative. As she continues to play a pivotal role in national politics, Smriti Irani remains a compelling figure, influencing policies and advocating for inclusive growth and empowerment.

In summary, Smriti Irani’s multifaceted career underscores her transformation from an actress to a formidable political leader, making her a noteworthy personality in contemporary Indian politics.

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