Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar will be pitted against NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential elections.
All eyes will be at Parliament on Monday as the Presidential elections take place and Monsoon Session commences. The elections will be closely watched as the next President may have a bearing on the 2019 general elections.
While former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is the NDA's pick for the President of India's post, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is Opposition's nominee. Interestingly, both the government and opposition have contested a Dalit candidate for the 2017 presidential polls.
Who is Meira Kumar?
> Meira Kumar was born in 1945 in Patna, Bihar. She holds an MA and LLB degrees along with an advanced diploma in Spanish.
> A Dalit to take on Dalit: Meira, like Kovind, belongs to the scheduled caste. She is the daughter of former deputy prime minister late Jagjivan Ram, a Dalit leader.
> In 1973, Kumar joined the Indian Foreign Service. She has also worked at High Commission of India in London and with the Ministry of External Affairs during 19980-1985.
> In 1985, she was elected to the Lok Sabha.
Explainer: How the President Of India is elected
> Kumar was the first woman speaker of Lok Sabha and a five time Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP). She served as the speaker from 2009 to 2014.
> Kumar, a member of Congress, has also served as a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from 2004-2009.
> Besides politics, Kumar actively works for social reforms and human rights.> On the personal front, Kumar is married to Manjul Kumar, a lawyer, and has four children.