Maneka Gandhi, (57) BJP
Ministry: Women and Child Development
Politician, animal rights and environment activist, Maneka Gandhi won a seventh term in Lok Sabha from Pilibhit, a constituency she vacated for son Varun in 2009 but returned to in 2014. There was speculation over her appointment in the Modi government as it was felt that Varun Gandhi was more likely to make the cut.
But going in her favour was the fact that she is experienced -she was environment and forests minister in the VP Singh government and had the portfolio of social justice and empowerment in the Vajpayee ministry -and a senior woman leader.
She has, however, been a slightly aloof figure in recent years and not very involved in BJP’s organizational affairs.