Meenakshi Lekhi, a popular face of the BJP and the Minister of State for external affairs and culture, on Thursday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet, saying India had been brought not only on the maps but also in ministries and women had been given big responsibilities.
Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda, Lekhi – a Supreme Court lawyer and social activist – said: “People used to speak of women empowerment but PM Modi made it possible that the country be led by empowered women. He provided recognition and gave responsibility, this is praiseworthy.”
Fifty-four-year-old Lekhi, who took oath as a Union Minister of State on Wednesday on her second term as the MP from the prestigious New Delhi constituency, has been at the forefront of struggles on a host of issues ranging from those pertaining to women and environment to law and development.
A law graduate of Delhi University, she has taken up various important issues such as permanent commission for women officers in the armed forces as a lawyer.
It was her contempt petition that forced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to tender an apology in 2019, for attributing his ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ jibe against the prime minister to the Supreme Court.
She was appointed vice president of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha in 2010. Later, as a national spokesperson of the party, she articulated and advocated the party’s policies and programmes in the media while taking on her political opponents.
As a parliamentarian, Lekhi was part of drafting committees of important Bills, including the Women Reservation Bill and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill. She has also served on different parliamentary panels, including the Standing Committee on External Affairs, Committee of Privileges, and General Purposes Committee.
Lekhi’s husband’s name is Aman Lekhi, who is a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and also the Additional Solicitor General of India. He has studied from St Xavier’s School, Delhi. They both have two children.