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Jayanthi Natarajan: 10 facts about her

  1. Jayanthi Natarajan comes from a family with deep roots in the Congress. She is the granddaughter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Bakthavatsalam.
  2. Jayanthi has served multiple terms as a Congress spokesperson and has been all along known as someone close to 10 Janpath.
  3. A lawyer by profession and a former newscaster for Doordarshan, she was noticed by Rajiv Gandhi and inducted into the party in late 1980s.
  4. As a lawyer, Natarajan practised in the Madras High Court and also did pro bono work for many social organisations.
  5. She entered the Parliament for the first time as a Rajya Sabha MP in 1986. She was re-elected to the Upper House in 1992, 1997 and in 2008.
  6. Natarajan quit the Congress in 1996 when Congress leader GK Moopanar founded the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) to protest against the party's decision to align with AIADMK in state elections.
  7. Her first stint in the union government was as minister of state in the civil aviation and parliamentary affairs ministries in the United Front government.
  8. After TMC merged with Congress in 2002 following Moopanar's death, Natarajan rejoined the party and was made the spokesperson.
  9. She entered the union government more than a decade later as minister of state for environment and forests with independent charge.
  10. A veena player, she is married to VK Natarajan. The couple has a son.