Surprise candidate to minister, Meenakshi Lekhi’s eventful journey


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  From being Supreme Court lawyer and social activist to a minister in Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, second-term BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi (54) has come a long way. She is the only elected representative from Delhi, who has been given a ministerial berth in the reshuffle on Wednesday. 

Her induction surprised a section of BJP leaders in the national capital, although her name was doing the round with Parvesh Sahib Singh, West Delhi MP.  Lekhi was first elected to Lok Sabha in 2014. However, she was almost denied a ticket in 2019 following strong opposition from a senior and influential party leader from Delhi. The candidature of former cricketer Gautam Gambhir was finalised from the New Delhi seat in place of her. However, according to Delhi BJP leaders, she managed to pull off a surprise entry.

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“A top functionary was approached. Gambhir was convinced to shift to East Delhi and sitting MP Maheish Girri had to be dropped. That is how she managed to secure the ticket. She must have got a place in the ministry under the women’s quota,” said a BJP leader, privy to organisational appointments in the past.    

Before 2014, Lekhi was a familiar face on TV as BJP’s spokesperson. In 2010, she was appointed national vice-president of BJP’s women’s wing. She is known for her case pertaining to permanent commissioning of women in the armed forces in Supreme Court.

Forcing Rahul apology
In 2019, Lehi moved a petition against Rahul Gandhi for his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe at PM Modi. Gandhi had to apologise.

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