Some Lesser Known Facts About Nirmala Sitharaman
- Sitharaman was born into a middle-class Tamil-Brahmin family who spent her childhood in different parts of Tamil Nadu due to her father’s transferable job in the Indian Railways.
- She is a perfect blend of her father’s disciplinary nature and her mother’s love for books.
- She was married into a ‘Congress oriented’ family as her mother-in-law was a Congress MLA in Andhra Pradesh, while her father-in-law was a Minister in the Andhra Pradesh Congress Govt. in 1970s.
- She started her career as an assistant to Economist in the Agricultural Engineers Association in London. She subsequently worked as Senior Manager (Research and Analysis) with Price Waterhouse, London. She also worked in BBC World Service for a while.
- On her return to India in 1991, she served as Dy. Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Hyderabad.
- She was an educationist and was also one of the founding members of ‘Pranava’, a reputed school in Hyderabad.
- She is an avid reader and writes the press releases on her own.
- She is a devotee of ‘Lord Krishna’ and has a huge collection of his bhajans.
- She is a sari enthusiast, and has a good collection of vintage silk and cotton Kanjeevarams.
- She was nominated to the National Commission for Women (NCW) during the NDA regime (1998-2004) under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but her term was immediately ended when the UPA came at the centre in 2004.
- Sushma Swaraj was very impressed with her work in NCW after which she recommended Sitharaman to the party.
- In 2008, she joined the BJP while her husband joined Telugu film star Chiranjeevi‘s political party, Praja Rajyam.
- When BJP came into power in 2014, she was inducted in the Narendra Modi cabinet as the MoS Commerce Ministry with independent charge. After a Cabinet reshuffle, she was promoted and was given the ministry of finance and corporate affairs.
- On 3 September 2017, she succeeded Arun Jaitley as the Defence Minister of India. With this, she became the first full-time woman Defence Minister and the second woman to hold this post after Late Indira Gandhi, who once held the additional charge for 20 days.
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