Breaking barriers: Meet the three women ministers who got cabinet berths in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura

Breaking barriers: Meet the three women ministers who got cabinet berths in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura

On the occasion of International Women's Day, three women politicians have been inducted as cabinet ministers in the three northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.

S Kruse (L), Ampareen Lyngdoh (C) Santana Chakma (R) S Kruse (L), Ampareen Lyngdoh (C) Santana Chakma (R)

On the occasion of International Women's Day, three women politicians were sworn in as ministers in the three northeastern cabinets, each in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Ampareen Lyngdoh, Meghalaya's longest-serving woman MLA, has once again become the lone female face among the 12 Meghalaya Cabinet ministers sworn in yesterday (March 7), and BJP leader Santana Chakma has been inducted as Cabinet minister in Tripura today, March 8 along with eight other BJP and IPFT ministers. Salhoutuonuo Kruse, of the NDPP, became the first woman minister of Nagaland.

The fact that the NPP, led by Conrad Sangma, chose its MLA Ampareen to be a minister in the Meghalaya cabinet, the NDPP, led by Neiphiu Rio, chose Kruse to be one of the state's cabinet ministers, and that the BJP government led by Manik Saha, chose Santana Chakma show that the region is committed to promoting women's empowerment by giving women the same rights as men.

This time, the two women candidates who won the Nagaland elections were Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu, both of whom are also members of the NDPP.

By becoming the first women to win the Nagaland Assembly elections and be elected as MLAs, Kruse and Jakhalu scripted history.

Despite the fact that there were many female candidates in Nagaland's 13 Assembly elections, no woman was elected as MLA.

The other two candidates, Rosy Thomson of the Congress and Kahuli Sema of the BJP, did not win.
By a margin of seven votes, Kruse defeated independent candidate Keneizhakho Nakhro to win the Western Angami seat.

The Angami Women Organization has had Kruse as its president and advisor. Kevisekho Kruse, her late husband, ran for the Western Angami seat in 2018 for the NDPP. However, he lost to Keneizakho Nakhro of the NPF. In addition, Kruso is a prominent hotelier and businesswoman in Nagaland.

This would be Ampareen Lyngdoh's third term as a minister, the 58-year-old veteran politician from Meghalaya. During her time as a Congress legislator, she held the positions of Minister for Education from 2009 to 2013, as well as Minister for Labor Affairs, Information Technology, Information & Broadcasting, Housing, Urban Development Affairs, and Housing from 2013 to 2018.

Ampareen, who is now the leader of the NPP, ran in the 2023 elections from her hometown of East Shillong. She defeated her closest rival and debutant, IIM Kolkata graduate Manuel Badwar of the Congress, by a margin of 1,711 votes, and went on to win the seat for the fourth time in a row. Manuel Badwar received 4,926 votes, while Ampareen Lyngdoh received 6,637 votes overall.

Ampareen comes from a family of politicians. From 1989 to 1996, her father, late Peter G. Marbaniang, served as an MP in the Lok Sabha, Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, and a minister in the Meghalayan government.

Late RG Lyngdoh, her older brother, was a well-known politician who served as Meghalaya's home and education minister.

In December 2022, Ampareen resigned from Congress and immediately joined the NPP. Jasmine, Ampareen's sister, also ran in the Assembly elections in 2023 for the first time, but she lost to TMC president and state political veteran Charles Pyngrope and Nongthymmai's UDP candidate Jemino Mawtoh.

For Santana Chakma, 32-year-old politician from Tripura, this would be her second term as a minister. From 2018 to 2023, the two-time MLA from the 59 Pencharthal Assembly Constituency has served in the Biplab Kumar Deb ministry as the Minister of Social Welfare, Social Education, and Animal Resource Development.

She ran in the 2023 elections and defeated Sadhan Kumar Chakma of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) by a margin of 7973 votes, winning the BJP seat from Pencharthal with 17,781 votes.


Also read : Meghalaya and Nagaland induct women MLAs as Cabinet Ministers ahead of 'International Women's Day'