Chandresh Kumari : legacy carrier to Minister for Culture
Chandresh Kumari Katoch, who successfully carried forward the legacy of royal families of Jodhpur and Kangra, has now been entrusted to spearhead the Ministry of Culture in the Manmohan Singh-led government.
Ms Katoch(68) is a new face in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet.
The three-time Himachal Pradesh former legislator has vast experience as parliamentarian and a minister in the state government.
The former princess of Jodhpur and daughter-in-law in Kangra royal family, Ms Katoch was declared elected in 2009, on the seat that was won posthumously by her father Maharaja Hanumant Singh and also held for one term by her mother former Rajmata Krishna Kumari.
Late Maharaja Hanumant Singh had died in a plane crash in 1952 prior to declaration of the Lok Sabha election result and hence after the counting of votes he was declared elected(posthumously) on the seat in the first general election.
Again in 1971 her mother Ms Krishna Kumari won the Jodhpur seat as an Independent. Ms Katoch's brother titular Maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh is a former Rajya Sabha member and also served as Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Although Ms Katoch had won the Jodhpur parliamentary seat for the first time in 2009, she is a seasoned legislator, parliamentarian and experienced politician who had entered active politics way back in 1972 with a victory in Himachal Pradesh State Assembly election.
She was made Deputy Minister in the Himachal Pradesh in 1977.
Again in 1982 she won the state assembly seat for her second term and was inducted in the HP Council of Ministers as a state minister. She had held the ministerial post for eight months till she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Himachal Pradesh for her first term.
In 1996, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the party where she was entrusted the post of Deputy Congress Whip in the Upper House between 1998 and 1999 before she was picked up by the party leadership for appointment as President of All India Mahila Congress(1999-2003).
In 2003, she won the assembly election in Himachal and was made Cabinet Minister in new Council of Ministers.
The Congress leadership brought back her to Jodhpur-her birthplace-to contest the Lok Sabha election in 2009.