Sumitra Mahajan, a prominent Indian political figure, held the position of Speaker of Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament, from 2014 to 2019. A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, she was a representative of the Indore constituency in Madhya Pradesh. Notably, she served as the longest-tenured female Member of Parliament, holding this role from 1989 to 2019.
Sumitra Mahajan, known as Sumitra Sathe before marriage, was born on Monday, 12 April 1943 (age 80 years; as of 2023), in Chiplun, Bombay Presidency, British India (now Maharashtra, India). Her zodiac sign is Aries. She attained her MA and LLB degrees from Indore University, which is currently known as Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Hazel Green
Family & Caste
Sumitra Mahajan belongs to a Chitpavan Brahmin Marathi family.
Parents & Siblings
Sumitra Mahajan’s father is named Purushotam Neelkanth Sathe, while her mother’s name is Usha Sathe. There is not much information about her siblings.
Husband & Children
Sumitra Sathe married Jayant Mahajan, a well-known lawyer in Indore, on 29 January 1965. Her husband passed away on 13 April 2018. Sumitra is the mother of two sons, Milind, and Mandar. Milind Mahajan, her older son, is engaged in IT and business activities, while her younger son, Mandar Mahajan, is a commercial pilot.
68 Manish Puri, Chandra Lok Colony, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
In 1982, Sumitra started her political journey by becoming a corporator in the Indore Municipal Corporation. Following this, in 1984, she attained the position of Deputy Mayor within the same corporation. In 1989, she emerged victorious in her first Lok Sabha elections. Significantly, she secured this victory by prevailing over Prakash Chandra Sethi, a Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Odisha. In 1990, she was elected as a member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare President, Mahila Morcha, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.), Madhya Pradesh. In 1991 she was re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (2nd term).
The same year she was made a member of the Joint Committee for the 73rd Constitution Amendment Bill, the Joint Committee for Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Bill, 1991 and the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Communications. Sumitra was appointed as the Vice-President of B.J.P., Madhya Pradesh from 1992 to 1994 and Secretary of B.J.P., Parliamentary Board along with Chairman, Parliamentary Board, Madhya Pradesh from 1995 to 1996. She was re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (3rd term) in 1996. From 1996 onwards she was appointed as the Secretary of B.J.P and a Member of the Committee on Public Accounts in 1997. In 1998 she was 1998 re-elected to the 12th Lok Sabha (4th term), following which she was appointed the general secretary of B.J.P., Convenor for the Sub-Committee on Drug Control, Committee on Human Resource Development and a Member of the Committee on Human Resource Development and its Sub-Committee-I on Value-based Education, Joint Committee on the Empowerment of Women and its Sub-Committee on Appraisal of Laws relating to Women—Criminal Laws, Committee on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADs) and Consultative Committee, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
In 1999, she was re-elected to the 13th Lok Sabha (5th term). Sumitra served as a Union Minister of State, from October 1999 to June 2002 in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, from July 2002 to May 2003 in the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology and from 24 May 2003- May 2004 in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. She was once again elected to the 14th Lok Sabha( 6th term) in 2004. From 2004 to 2009, she served as a member of the General Purposes Committee and Panel of Chairmen along with being a Chairperson of the Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment. In 2005, she was the Prabhari of Mahila Morcha for B.J.P and a member of the Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation. From 5 August 2007 to May 2009, she was the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Social Justice & Empowerment. She was re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha (7th term) in 2009. In June 2009, she was again appointed as a member of the Panel of Chairmen. On 31 August 2009, Sumitrawas appointed as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Rural Development and on 23 September 2009 as a member of the Committee on Empowerment of Women.
On 6 June 2014, Sumitra Mahajan was appointed as the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha; she was unanimously elected as the speaker by the members of the Lok Sabha. Prior to this, she had been a member of the ‘Panel of Chairmen’ in the Lok Sabha. Displaying her leadership, in August 2015, she took the decision to suspend 25 Congress MPs for a five-day period due to their breach of discipline within the House. Sumitra also played a pivotal role as a patron at NLC Bharat, overseeing the proceedings of meetings.
Allegations of Involvement in Bank Scam Surrounded Former Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Son Milind Mahajan
Anil Kumar Dhadwaiwale, the former chairperson of the Indore-based Maharashtra Brahmin Cooperative Bank, accused Sumitra Mahajan and her son Milind Mahajan of playing significant roles in the fraudulent activities that occurred within the bank between 1997 and 2003. During this timeframe, Sumitra Mahajan held a ministerial position in the Central Government, while Milind Mahajan served as one of the directors of the bank. In 2005, a First Information Report (FIR) regarding the scam was filed at the Central Kotwali Police Station in Indore, targeting 16 individuals, including Milind Mahajan. However, the FIR was subsequently dismissed after the investigation. Notably, several directors, including the husband of Sumitra Mahajan’s Private Secretary, were also implicated in securing loans but failing to repay them. Times Of India
Awards & Honours
- When the Indian Parliamentary Delegation visited the Republic of Korea (Seoul) from September to October 2016, Sumitra Mahajan was honoured with an Honorary Doctorate by Hankuk University of Foreign Affairs in Seoul.
- In 2021, Sumitra Mahajan received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, from President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan in recognition of her notable contributions to politics and public welfare
Assets and Properties
- Gross Total Value of Movable Assets as per the Affidavit (including cash and jewellery) – Rs. 25,32,234.
- Agricultural Land – Rs 2,00,000
- Commercial Buildings – Rs 80,00,000
- Residential Buildings – Rs 80,00,000
- Throughout her life, Sumitra Mahajan has recognized the 18th-century queen Ahilyabai Holkar as a source of inspiration. She staged a play on Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar and authored a book titled ‘Matoshree’ that delves into Ahilyabai Holkar’s life journey. This book was officially introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.
- Sumitra Mahajan became the second woman, following Meira Kumar, to be chosen as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- In February 2015, Sumitra Mahajan earned a place in the LIMCA Book of Records for becoming the first Indian woman to consecutively represent the same Lok Sabha constituency under the banner of the same political party for eight terms.
- She also served as the President of the Marathi Academy in Madhya Pradesh and held positions as the Chairperson of the Ahilya Utsav Committee in Indore and the Contemporary Study Centre in Indore.
- She played a pivotal role in conceiving and leading the inaugural National Conference of Women Legislators as well as the first-ever National Legislators Conference in New Delhi in March 2018.
- During her tenure as the Chairperson of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum in 2016, Sumitra Mahajan orchestrated the convening of the BRICS Women Parliamentarians Forum in Jaipur and also orchestrated the gathering of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Parliaments from the BRICS Parliamentary Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
- In 2021, Sumitra was admitted to Indore’s Bombay Hospital. This occurrence led to the spread of unfounded rumours and false information on the internet about her passing. A number of news outlets prematurely reported her demise without verifying the accuracy. Even politician Shashi Tharoor posted a tweet expressing condolences, which he later retracted. However, Sumitra’s family clarified the situation and confirmed her good health, effectively putting an end to the unfounded speculations. Times Of India
- In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Sumitra Mahajan secured victory with a narrow margin of 11,480 votes, marking the slimmest victory margin in her entire political career. Recognizing the waning popularity, she displayed astute political acumen by reconciling with Kailash Vijayvargiya, a prominent MP Minister renowned across the Malwa region. This strategic decision proved fruitful, as she achieved a remarkable triumph in the 16th Lok Sabha elections, surpassing her Congress party opponent Satyanarayan Patel by an impressive margin of 4,66,901 votes. This achievement marked the highest vote margin victory in Madhya Pradesh during those elections.
- Among her interests, Sumitra Mahajan enjoys reading and engaging with music, drama, and cinema, and she also has a keen passion for singing.
- Her constituents fondly address her as “Tai.”
- Sumitra is passionate about Indian games and has worked for the protection/development of playgrounds, and organising women’s kho-kho matches in Indore.