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Veteran Congress Leader and Former Governor Kamla Beniwal Passes Away at 97

The Indian political landscape mourns the loss of a pioneering figure, Kamla Beniwal, who breathed her last on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at the age of 97. Beniwal, a veteran Congress leader and former governor of Gujarat, Tripura, and Mizoram, left an indelible mark on the nation’s political arena with her unwavering commitment and decades-long service.

Born on January 12, 1927, in Gorir, Jhunjhunu district, Rajputana Agency, British India, Beniwal’s journey was deeply rooted in the Indian independence movement. At the tender age of 15, she joined the Indian National Congress and actively participated in the Quit India Movement, showcasing her unwavering dedication to the cause of freedom.

A Trailblazer in Politics

Beniwal’s political career began in 1954 when she won the Legislative Assembly election at the age of 27, becoming the first woman minister in Rajasthan. This milestone paved the way for her to hold various influential portfolios, including home, medical and health, education, and agriculture, over the course of her illustrious career.

Throughout her tenure as a minister in successive Congress governments in Rajasthan, Beniwal’s contributions were truly remarkable. From 1980 to 1990, she served as a cabinet minister, overseeing a diverse range of portfolios such as agriculture, animal husbandry, irrigation, labor and employment, education, art and culture, tourism, and integrated rural development.

Beniwal’s dedication to public service extended beyond her ministerial roles. She was closely associated with the functioning of the state Congress party and held significant positions within the organization, including membership in the All India Congress Committee, joint secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee, and president of the Rajasthan Mahila Congress.

A Remarkable Legacy

In recognition of her contributions to the freedom struggle, Beniwal was honored with the Tamra Patra Award by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her appointment as the governor of Tripura in October 2009 marked a significant milestone, as she became the first female governor of any state in Northeast India.

Beniwal’s gubernatorial journey continued when she was appointed as the Governor of Gujarat in November 2009, serving for over four years. In July 2014, she was transferred to the post of Governor of Mizoram, further solidifying her position as a trailblazer in Indian politics.

Throughout her remarkable career spanning nearly 50 years, Kamla Beniwal remained a steadfast advocate for democratic values and social progress. Her unwavering commitment to public service and her dedication to the principles of the Indian National Congress have left an indelible mark on the nation’s political landscape.

As the nation mourns the loss of this iconic figure, Kamla Beniwal’s legacy will continue to inspire generations of leaders and serve as a testament to the power of perseverance, resilience, and unwavering dedication to the greater good.

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