Pratibha Devisingh Patil


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(b. Nadgaon, Jalgaon District, Maharashtra, 19 Dec. 1934)

Indian; Governor of Rajasthan 2004–7, President of India 2007–  Educated at Jalgaon and at the Government Law College, Mumbai, she trained as a lawyer and joined the Congress Party in the early 1960s. She was elected to the Maharashtra State Legislature in 1962, and for much of the time between 1972 and 1985 she was a cabinet minister in the state. She then served a term in both houses of the national Parliament, retiring in 1996. She was selected to be the first woman Governor of Rajasthan in 2004 and in 2007 won the election for president, to succeed A. P. J. Kalam, and be India's first woman President (amid much debate over her calibre to hold the position). She has always been associated with the Gandhi wing of the Congress Party and her rise to the presidency has been actively supported by Sonia Gandhi.

Subjects: Politics.

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