Meenakshi Lekhi, who was on Wednesday inducted into the Union Cabinet, is serving her second term as a member of the Lok Sabha. A lawyer by training, Lekhi won the New Delhi parliamentary constituency as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in the 2014 elections and was re-elected in 2019.
Lekhi, 54, alumni of Delhi’s Hindu College, completed her law degree from Delhi University. She soon started practising in courts and was associated with some high-profile cases such as the case of the permanent commission of the lady officers in the armed forces.
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Lekhi’s political career began in the early 2000s when she joined the BJP. In 2010, she was made the national vice-president of the party’s Mahila Morcha. She rose to prominence after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when she defeated Ajay Maken of the Congress by a margin of 270,000 votes. In 2019, she again defeated Maken.
The MP from Delhi has been a part of the Drafting Committees for important Bills like Women’s Reservation Bill and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill.
In the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Lekhi filed a case against then Congress president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly attributing his personal remark to the Supreme Court and “creating prejudice in the minds of the electorate.” Gandhi allegedly said that the Supreme Court had accepted his (Rahul Gandhi’s) contention that there was a scam in the Rafale fighter jet deal. The top court in its order said that Gandhi should “exercise caution” in the future and disposed of the case.
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Lekhi, who is very active on social media, is often in the forefront of the BJP’s attacks on its detractors. Taking a swipe at activist Greta Thunberg, who had spoken in support of agitating Indian farmers, Lekhi had said, “give her child bravery award” for uploading a document providing “proof about hatching a conspiracy to destabilise”.
On Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into active politics, Lekhi had said, ““She is Mrs Vadra, did you forget? There are many women who take care of their families, husband and children, who also look good but what is their political CV, please ask that. And the main thing that comes in her CV is Mrs Vadra. I don’t want to say anything more than this.”
She is married to Aman Lekhi, Additional Solicitor General of India in the Apex Court, and has two children.