Annapurna Devi gets women and child development ministry in Modi govt 3.0

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) BJP leader from Jharkhand Annapurna Devi has been appointed as the new Women and Child Development Minister as part of the NDA government's third term.

Savitri Thakur is the new minister of state in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, according to an official statement.

With challenges such as raising the legal age of marriage for women, combating malnutrition among women and children, and addressing women's safety issues, the new ministers face a formidable agenda.

Devi, 55, succeeds Smriti Irani in this role.

Her political journey began with her election to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in a 1998 by-election. She later served as minister of state for Mines and Geology in the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) government of undivided Bihar.

From 2005 to 2014, Devi was a member of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly and became a cabinet minister in Jharkhand in 2012, overseeing the Ministry of Irrigation, Women & Child Welfare, and Registration.

She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, contesting from Koderma on the party's ticket. She defeated Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) by a substantial margin of 4.55 lakh votes.

In her latest victory, she retained the Koderma seat by defeating CPI(ML)L's Vinod Kumar Singh by a margin of 3.77 lakh votes.

Devi's influence extends beyond the mica belt of Koderma, impacting the entire state and establishing her as a key figure in the political landscape.

In 2021, Devi, once a close aide of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, was inducted into the Union government as the minister of state for Education on July 7.

Now, she has secured a seat in the Modi 3.0 government, a move seen as the BJP's strategic effort to consolidate a sizable OBC vote bank ahead of the crucial Assembly elections later this year.

Thakur (46) is the MoS in the WCD ministry. She won from Dhar (Scheduled Tribe reserved) constituency in Madhya Pradesh in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls and was sworn in on Sunday as a minister of state (MoS) in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. PTI UZM BHJ BHJ