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Cabinet’s First Lady is a star
- MLA Annapurna Devi strikes a chord with woman outfits

If Jharkhand was missing a First Lady after the Arjun Munda government fell, it has two now — Kalpana Soren, the better half of chief minister Hemant, and Annapurna Devi, Cabinet minister and Koderma MLA from RJD.

Kalpana, a young and shy homemaker with two toddlers, hasn’t yet stepped out for ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

The JMM-Congress-RJD ruling combine, on the other hand, has propelled MLA Annapurna Devi as the flavour of the season. She has stepped into the shoes of former chief minister Munda’s wife Meera.

On July 21 and 22, Junior Chamber International (JCI) hosted a two-day Shravani Mela at Ranchi Club complex. Though Kalpana was the first choice, when she couldn’t turn up, Devi stepped in as the chief guest for the closing ceremony.

Devi, a mother of three, was at her charming best on Friday, the last day of the Shravan fair hosted by the Agarwal Sabha (women’s wing) at Agrasen Bhavan.

“I feel good to be part of events hosted by women’s outfits as I can relate to their problems and achievements,” she told The Telegraph on Friday.

She cited her own example, saying raising three children while being in active politics wasn’t a cakewalk. “I had to struggle when I lost my husband. Due to parental support, I could carve my own niche,” the RJD MLA said.

“I tell women to stay positive. Struggle is inevitable. You need a positive mindset to face it,” Devi added.

Women’s outfits feel Devi is an inspiration.

“She has achieved a balance in her family, political and social life with élan,” said Rupa Agarwal, convener of women’s wing, Agarwal Sabha.

“She strikes the right chord. Plus, she’s punctual,” added Rashmi Dhanuka, chairperson of JCI women’s wing.