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|12th President of India|
25 July 2007 – 25 July 2012
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Vice President||Mohammad Hamid Ansari|
|Preceded by||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|Succeeded by||Pranab Mukherjee|
|Governor of Rajasthan|
8 November 2004 – 23 June 2007
|Chief Minister||Vasundhara Raje|
|Preceded by||Madan Lal Khurana|
|Succeeded by||Akhlaqur Rahman Kidwai|
|Born||19 December 1934
Nadgaon, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now in Maharashtra, India)
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|United Front (1996–2004)
United Progressive Alliance (2004–present)
|Spouse(s)||Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat|
|Alma mater||Mooljee Jetha College, Jalgaon
Government Law College, Mumbai
Patil is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) and was nominated for the presidency by the governing United Progressive Alliance and Indian Left.
Early lifePratibha Devisingh Patil is the daughter of Narayan Rao Patil. She was born on 19 December 1934 in the village of Nadgaon, in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, India. She was educated initially at RR Vidyalaya, Jalgaon and subsequently was awarded a Masters degree in Political Science and Economics by Mooljee Jetha College, Jalgaon, and then a Bachelor of Law degree by Government Law College, Mumbai. Patil then began to practice law at the Jalgaon District Court, while also taking interest in social issues such as improving the conditions faced by Indian women.
Patil married Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat on 7 July 1965. The couple have a son and a daughter.
Political careerThe BBC has described Patil's political career prior to assuming Presidential office as "long and largely low-key". In 1962, at the age of 27, she was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the Jalgaon[clarification needed] constituency. Thereafter she won in the Muktainagar (formerly Edlabad) constituency on four consecutive occasions between 1967 and 1985, before becoming a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha between 1985 and 1990. In the 1991 elections for the 10th Lok Sabha, she was elected as a Member of Parliament representing the Amravati constituency. A period of retirement from politics followed later in that decade.
Patil had held various Cabinet portfolios during her period in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and she had also held official positions while in both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. In addition, she had been for some years the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and also held office as Director of the National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies and as a Member of the Governing Council of the National Co-operative Union of India.
On 8 November 2004 she was appointed as the 24th Governor of Rajasthan and she was the first woman to hold that office, and, according to the BBC, was "a low-profile" incumbent.
ElectionPatil was announced as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate on 14 June 2007. She emerged as a compromise candidate after the Left parties would not agree to the nomination of former Home Minister Shivraj Patil or Karan Singh.
Due to the role being largely a figurehead position, the selection of candidate is often arranged by consensus among the various political parties and the candidate runs unopposed.Contrary to the normal pattern of events, Patil faced a challenge in the election. The BBC described the situation as "the latest casualty of the country's increasingly partisan politics and [it] highlights what is widely seen as an acute crisis of leadership". It "degenerated into unseemly mud slinging between the ruling party and the opposition". Her challenger was Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the incumbent vice-president and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran. Shekhawat stood as an independent candidate and was supported by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a group led by the BJP.
Patil won the election held on 19 July 2007. She garnered nearly two-thirds of the votes and took office as India's first woman president on 25 July 2007.
ActivitiesPratibha Patil's term as the President of India saw various controversies. For example, during her term as president, Patil has commuted the death sentences of 35 petitioners to life, a record — among them are those convicted of mass murder, kidnapping, rape and killing of children. Presidential office, however, defended this by saying that the President had granted clemency to the petitioners after due consideration and examining the advice of the Home Ministry.
Patil was noted for having spent more money on foreign trips, and having taken a greater number of foreign trips, than any prior president.
Completion of termThe office of president has a five-year term and Patil retired from the role in July 2012.
Business InterestsAlong with her husband, she set up Vidya Bharati Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, an educational institute which runs a chain of schools and colleges in Amravati, Jalgaon and Mumbai. She also set up Shram Sadhana Trust, which runs hostels for working women in New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune; and an engineering college in Jalgaon. She also founded a cooperative sugar factory known as Sant Muktabai Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana at Muktainagar and an eponymous cooperative bank, Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank, that ceased trading in February 2003.
Positions heldPatil has held various official offices during her career. These are:
|1967–72||Deputy Minister, Public Health, Prohibition, Tourism, Housing & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Maharashtra|
|1972–74||Cabinet Minister, Social Welfare, Government of Maharashtra|
|1974–75||Cabinet Minister, Public Health & Social Welfare, Government of Maharashtra|
|1975–76||Cabinet Minister, Prohibition, Rehabilitation and Cultural Affairs, Government of Maharashtra|
|1977–78||Cabinet Minister, Education, Government of Maharashtra|
|1979–1980||Leader of the Opposition, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly|
|1982–85||Cabinet Minister, Urban Development and Housing, Government of Maharashtra|
|1983–85||Cabinet Minister, Civil Supplies and Social Welfare, Government of Maharashtra|
|1986–1988||Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha|
|1986–88||Chairman, Committee of Privileges, Rajya Sabha; Member, Business Advisory Committee, Rajya Sabha|
|1991–1996||Chairman, House Committee, Lok Sabha|
|8 November 2004 – 23 June 2007||Governor of Rajasthan|
|25 July 2007 – 25 July 2012||President of India|