Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: JNU alumnus and strong BJP leader from a family of Congress supporters


Nirmala Sitharaman is the new Defence Minister. She was elevated to the cabinet rank in the Cabinet reshuffle that took place today.



Born in a middle-class family at Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu, Nirmala Sitaraman spent her childhood in different parts of the state as her father’s job was transferable. Her father worked in the Railways while her mother was an avid book lover.  Nirmala Sitharama is known have imbibed the discipline of her father and love for books of her mother.

Nirmala Sitharaman graduated from Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College, Tiruchirappalli and joined the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi from where she completed her masters. Globalisation was her favourite subject at the JNU.

Incidentally, following incidents of “anti-national” sloganeering at the JNU campus, V-C M Jagdesh Kumar recently wrote to the government asking for an army tank to instill nationalism among the students of the university. Now, an alumni of the JNU has become the Defence Minister.

After completing her post-graduation at the JNU, Nirmala Sitharaman married Parakala Prabhakar in 1986. She then moved to London, where she earned a reputation for herself as a successful corporate professional before coming back to India in 1991.


Her husband Prabhakar and his family have been a Congress supporter for decades. But, when it came to Nirmala Sitharaman to take a call on her political career, she joined the BJP in 2006. Nirmala Sitharaman rose fast in the BJP ranks.

She was made a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) in 2003 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. She remained an NCW member till 2005. As NCW member, Nirmala Sitharaman came in touch with Sushma Swaraj, who recommended her to the BJP. She formally joined the BJP a year later.

In 2010, Nirmala Sitharama was made the spokesperson of the BJP when Nitin Gadkari was the party president. Nirmala was in the team of spokespersons headed by the present Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Nirmala Sitharaman defended the BJP in every situation and defended the Modi government of Gujarat.

Following remarkable victory of the BJP in 2014 elections, Nirmala Sitharama was inducted in the Narendra Modi cabinet as the MoS Commerce Ministry with independent charge. She also handled the ministry of finance and corporate affairs before today’s Cabinet reshuffle, which gave her a major promotion.


Source: India Today


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