Who is Meira Kumar, opposition's candidate for next President of India
Meira Kumar has been selected by the opposition to fight the elections for the next President of India. The daughter of Babu Jagjivan Ram, she was elected unopposed as the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha. She served in the post between 2009 and 2014.
A five time MP, she has also served as a cabinet minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Manmohan Singh led UPA government between 2004 and 2009.
Meira was born in Arrah district of Bihar. She is the daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram. In 1970 she joined the Indian Foreign Service and has served in several countries.
Meira Kumar entered electoral politics in 1985 and was elected from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. She defeated the likes of Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati, both powerful Dalit leaders. She was a member of the eighth, eleventh and twelfth Lok Sabhas from Karol Bagh in Delhi.
She lost her seat in the BJP wave of 1999, but was able to get re-elected with a significant majority from her father's former constituency of Sasaram in Bihar in 2004 and 2009.
In the 2014 general election, Kumar contested and lost to Chhedi Paswan from Sasaram by a margin of 63,327 votes.