Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Indian Parties

Also see India Ministers

1917-19 President of Indian Congress Annie Besant

1917 Vice-President of Indian Congress Bai Amman

1917-ca.25 Vice-President of Indian Congress Sarojini Naidu
1925-33 President
She became governor of a state in 1949.

1933 President of Indian Congress Nellie Sengupta

1954-60 President of Indian Congress Indira Gandhi
1966-77 Leader of Indian Congress
1978-84 Leader of Congress (I)

1962-75 Vice-President of Sujantantra Party Maharani G. Devi
President of the Rajastan Bransh of SP.

1971-77 Leader of Samyukta Vidhayak Party in the Lokh Sabha Rajamata Vijaye Raje Scindica of Gwalior
1980-97 Vice-Chairperson of Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party
Member of the Lokh Sabha for Congress 1962-67 and for BJP 1989-2001,
Member of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly 1967-71 and the Rajya Sabha 1978-89. Born as Lekha Divyeshwari she took the name of Vijayaraje after her marriage Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia of Gwalior, who died in 1960. Mother of one son and four daughters (one of whom has been a Union Minister several times). She was born as Lekha Divyeshwari as daughter of Thakur Mahendra Singh, a government officer and Chuda Deveshwari, who belonged to the influential Rana family of Nepal, and died at her birth, and she was raised at the residence of her maternal grandparents in India; Khadga Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (who murdered his uncle Sri Teen Maharaja Ranodip Singh Rana of Nepal in 1885) and Rani Dhan Kumari. She lived (1919-2001)

1980-88 Leader of Sanjay Vichar (or Rashtriya Sanjay Manch)  Maneka Gandhi
1989-90 Secretary General of Janata Dal
She was daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, and founded her own party after her husband, Sanjay, was killed in a plane-crash. She has been member of a number of governments.

1984-? President of National Conference of Jammu and Kashmir Khaleda Shah

1989-2016 (†) Secretary General of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) J.Jayalalithaa Jayram
1995-98 Co-Leader of All Indian Dravidian Progressive Federation
1998-2016 Parliamentary Leader in the Lokh Sabha
Chief Minister of Tamil Naidu 1991-96, 2001, 2002-2006, 2011-14 and 2015-16. She lived (1948-2016).

1995-98 Co-Leader of All Indian Dravidian Progressive Federation Janckie Ramachandran

Circa 1995-98 General Secretary and Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP Sushma Swaraj
2004-09 Deputy Leader of BJP in the Rajya Sabha and Spokesperson of the BJP Parliamentary Wing and Party Spokesperson
2009 Deputy Leader of BJP in the Lok Sabha
2009-
14 Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
Former Union Minister and Chief Minister of Delhi.

1995-2001 Vice-President of Bahujan Samaja Party Mayawati
2001- Party Leader
2008- Leader of the "Third Front"
Mayawati Naina Kumari was Union MP from 1989 and later member of the Rajya Sabha. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh 1995, 1997, 2002-03 and from 2007. Emerged as the leader of a "Third Front" in opposition to the Governing Congress Party and the Nationalist BJP consisting of regional parties and the Communists and frequently mentioned as a future Prime Minister. A member of the Dalit Community (former "untouchables") (b. 1956-).

1996- President of All India Pakhtoon Jirga-e-Hind Yasmin Niger
She followed her father and grandfather as leader of the Parkhtoons, which advoccates an independent Pakhtoonistan in Pakistan. (. 1970-)

1998- Leader of All India Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee
Had a number of Ministerial Posts. Chief Minister of the West Bengal from 2011.

1998- President of Congress (I) Sonia Gandhi
1999-2004 Parliamentary Leader of Congress Party and Leader of the Opposition 

2004 Parliamentary Leader of Congress Party and Designate Prime Minister
2004-06 Chairperson of  the Congress Party in Parliament
2004- Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance and its coordination committee
2014- Chairperson of the Congress Party in Parliament

As President of Congress (I) since 1998, she was charged with forming a government in 1998, but failed, after the elecions she became Parliamentary Leader of the whole Parliamentary Party in the Lokh Sabha and Leader of the Opposition. In 2004 her party won the elections she was charged with forming a new government, but desided not to asume the office of Prime Minister, instead she remains the "power behind the throne" and "shadow Prime Minister", and the new Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the first Sikh on the post, declared her "his leader". Chairperson of the National Advisory Council with Cabinet Rank 2004-06. Sonia is the widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was killed in 1989, and was born in Italy in (1945-) .

2001- Leader of Adivasi-Dalit Action Council C.K. Janu
She is leader of the movement to restore the rights of the indigenous Adivasi population in Kerala. The tribals are landless and the poorest among the poorest in the state. In 2001 she lead a massive land agitation to fight for the return of adivasi lands in the forest areas where they have lived in millions of years  (recent genetic data has suggested that some of them might go back to the very first wave of out migrants from Africa), but in recent years their areas have been commercially exploited. In 2001 she reached an agreement with the Communist State Government reached an agreement to distribute lands to the, but it was unfit for cultivation and the forest officials obstructed the process. After having given the government over a year to implement what it agreed to the Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha (the grand assembly of Adivasis of Kerala) decided to take the matter into their own hands, but were brutally stuck down by the police, and C.J. Janu were imprisoned in Februrary 2003. She learned to read when she was around 18, and has been working as a domestic and daily-wage labourer since her childhood. Her birth year is unknown.

2001-06 First General Secretary of the Congress Party and Party Spokesperson Ambika Soni
A confidant of Congress President Sonia Gandhi
, she is the Party Spokesperson and has been in charge of various portfolios within the party before becoming Union Minister of Culture and Tourism in 2006.

2003- President of PDP Mehbooda Mufti
2014-16 Parliamentary Leader in the Lokh Sabha
Daughter of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of Jammu and Kashmir and Vice-President of the People’s Democratic Party 1998-2003
. Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir after her father's death in 2016.

2003- President of the Womanist Party of India Varsha Kale
The party vice-president was India Avisha Kulkarni

2004 General Secretary of BJP Uma Bharti
Former Union Minister and Chief Minister in Madhyra Pradesh. She was dismissed as General Secretary a few days after her nomination because of her opposition to the Party Leaders and later excluded from the party.

2016- General Secretary of  All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) V. K. Sasikala
Party official and close aide of the late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa since the 1980s. Became Party Leader in Tamil Naidu 2017 and designated as Chief Minister, but was barred from taking office after she was convicted for corrption. She is also known as Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala or Sasikala Natarajan. Her parents are Vivekanandan and Krishnaveni and her husband M. Natarajan. (b. 1957-)
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Last update 17.02.17