This model-turned-politician was born in Delhi and is the eldest of 3 sisters. In 1998, this leader featured in a music album titled 'Boliyan' of the album 'Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag' with Mika Singh. She later played the lead role in the television show 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' on Star Plus. Go to the next slide to know more about her
Smriti Zubin Irani was born as Smriti Malhotra. She currently holds the portfolio of Minister of Textiles and Minister of Women and Child Development. She as also held the posts of Union Minister for Human Resource Development and Information Broadcasting. She is a Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha and she represents Amethi.
Touted as one of the most successful ministers in India's recent history, this woman has had her impact on India's slow bureaucracy. Before becoming a cabinet minister, she was a Supreme Court lawyer. She also speaks Sanskrit fluently. She is seen here with her husband, who was also one of India's youngest Governors. Go to the next slide to know more about her. Pic/Twitter
Sushma Swaraj is a senior BJP leader and the former Minister for External Affairs for the country. Her Twitter diplomacy has created a trend of its own. In fact, even when Sushma Swaraj was admitted at AIIMS for a serious kidney ailment, she reached out to help Indians in distress.
This young leader is a Mumbaikar through and through. Born in the city to a politically active family, she fully plunged herself into the public sphere post-2006. She is seen here with her father. Pic/Instagram
Poonam Mahajan is a Member of Parliament from Mumbai North Central and a politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party. She was introduced to politics at a very young age. Her father, Pramod Mahajan, was a renowned leader of the BJP, while her uncle, Gopinath Munde served as Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister
This beautiful woman became a key pillar of India's by-gone first family. She continues to serve as an opposition leader today. She has two sisters.
Born in a small village in Italy, Sonia Gandhi was married to Rajiv Gandhi in 1968. Sonia is a former President of the Indian National Congress. When the BJP-led NDA formed a government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999, she took the office of the Leader of Opposition. In 2013, Gandhi became the first person to serve as Congress President for 15 consecutive years. Her son, Rahul Gandhi replaced her as the Congress president on 16 December 2017.
Born in Tamil Nadu to a civil servant father, this leader went on to gain a major in economics. Despite marrying someone from a pro-Congress family, she pursued her desire to be part of the Bharatiya Janata Party. She is currently one of the most powerful ministers in India. Pic/Youtube
Nirmala Sitharaman is serving as India's second female Defence Minister and also second female Finance Minister of the country. She has also served as the Minister for Commerce and Industry under the Narendra Modi government. Before launching her political career in 2008, Sitharaman worked in the corporate sector for Price Waterhouse and the BBC World Service in the United Kingdom
Despite her familial associations with one of India's oldest parties, this leader rose to be a powerhouse for the party's key rival. She is also a well-known animal rights activist. Pic/Youtube
Maneka Gandhi is a member of the Lok Sabha and part of the Bharatiya Janata Party under Modi government. She is the widow of Sanjay Gandhi, son of Congress heavyweight, Indira Gandhi. She has served in the capacity of a minister in four governments and has authored a number of books in the areas of etymology, law and animal welfare.
This strong-willed woman is one of the most impactful figures in the world of politics. Following the strict tenets of the law, she has captured the hearts of many across the country over the years. Pic/Youtube
Mamata Banerjee is the 8th Chief Minister of West Bengal. Banerjee started her political career in the Congress party, and has, in the past, served as the Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, and Women and Child Development. She is the chief of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and has dedicated herself to the cause of her state. This iron lady of Bengal, however, never found time to get married.
Emerging as the face of the downtrodden, this leader has served as the Chief Minister of one of India's most important states. Despite the fact that she was discriminated against by her own father for being a girl, this young woman became a successful lawyer, and later a national leader. Pic/Youtube
Mayawati has served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for four non-consecutive times. She is the President of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which speaks strongly against caste discrimination. She is also a Member of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha
This leader hails from a royal Maratha family. Her son and siblings are also active members of Rajasthan's politics. Pic/Youtube
Vasundhara Raje Scindia is a former Chief Minister of Rajasthan. She has been an active leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party since 1984. She became the first female to hold the post of Chief Minister of the state of Rajasthan back in 2003.
This gorgeous woman made a mark as a South Indian actress and became popular. A recipient of two Filmfare awards, she is also the guiding force behind a national party's social media movement. Pic/Instagram
Divya Spandana, who also goes by the name of Ramya, is the head of the Indian National Congress' social media wing. She is also a Member of Parliament from Mandya, Karnataka. Pic/AFP
This politician is the only woman to ever serve India's head of state. She has a degree in political science and also a degree in law from Government Law College, Mumbai. Pic/Youtube
Pratibha Rao Patil served as the 12th President of India. Backed by the UPA, Patil was elected to the post in 2007. Prior to her stint as President, Patil had held a Cabinet-level post seven times and had also served as the Governor of Rajasthan
This young leader served as the head of one of the most violence-marred states in India. This photo was taken at a press conference in New Delhi in 1996. Pic/AFP
Daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mehbooba Mufti is a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Her father served as the Home Minister of India. She became the first woman leader to hold the post of Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir
This Bollywood heavyweight has made her mark in politics as well. Apart from herself, her husband, son and daughter-in-law are all big names in Bollywood. She associates herself with the Samajwadi Party. Pic/Instagram
Jaya Bachchan is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. She was first elected to the house in 2004. She has since, been elected three more times to the upper house
They are famous politicians today, but do you know what they looked like in their younger days? Here are then-and-now pictures of some of the most powerful female politicians from India
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe