SunstarTV Bureau: Renu Devi, Bihar’s first female Deputy Chief Minister has attracted global attention. Bihar, is criticized for being the least empowered, has drove away from its pre-existential status by appointing Renu Devi as the first woman Deputy CM of the state on November 15.
She belongs to the Noniya caste, which is considered an extremely ‘Backward Caste’ in Bihar, making her the maiden Deputy CM from the caste. She numbers fifth in the list of woman Deputy CM of India.
Renu Devi, had contested her first election from the Nautan assembly constituency on a BJP ticket in 1995 but lost by a slim margin. She again fought the assembly election in 2000 on a BJP ticket and won by a record of 10000 votes, also appointed as the Minister of Culture in the Bihar cabinet, 2007.
Formerly the national Vice President of the BJP, Renu Devi has won from the Bettiah constituency (as MLA) in 2000, 2005, and 2010. She also served as the Minister for Sports and Culture in the 2005-2009 cabinet, under CM Nitish Kumar.
Renu Devi comes from a family which has been closely associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has herself been a part of Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). She was widowed a few years after her marriage in 1973 and been a social activist since then. She became a member of the BJP in 1988, also was made the head of BJP Women’s Wing in Champaran region.
While Renu Devi’s rise to power is surely a good news, the path to women’s representation in mainstream politics in Bihar continues to be harsh. Other than Renu Devi, there is only one woman in the Cabinet now, Sheela Mandal, a first time MLA from the JD (U).