Who is Anandiben Patel?
Anandiben Patel is an Indian politician who was a teacher before becoming a politician. She is the current Governor of Uttar Pradesh, the previous Governor of Madhya Pradesh, and the first female Chief Minister of Gujarat. Anandiben, a winner of the President’s gallantry award, wears the hats of an educator, social worker, and cabinet minister of the Gujarat Government, holding up to five responsibilities. She is also Gujarat’s longest-serving female legislator and has been a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1987.
Personal Life/Early Life
Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel was born under the zodiac sign of Scorpio on Friday, November 21, 1941 (age 80 as of 2021) in present-day Kharod village in Vijapur taluka, Mehsana district, Gujarat. Her parents enrolled her at a boys’ school from grades 5 to 7, where she was the sole female student. Ms Patel graduated from Nagindas Maganlal High School in Ahemdabad, which had just three female pupils at the time.
Patel earned her bachelor’s degree in science from M. G. Panchal Science College in Pilvai, Gujarat, in 1960. She went on to get her MSc, B.Ed, and M.Ed from Gujarat Vidyapith, and she was a gold medalist in both of her postgraduate degrees.
On May 29, 1962, she married Mafatlal Patel, her now-ex-husband. The pair remained in the Mehsana area of Gujarat for four years after their marriage, but they finally went to Ahmedabad to take up teaching posts.
Mafatlal worked as a psychology professor at Ahemdabad’s Saraspur Art and Commerce College, while Anandiben taught mathematics and science at Ahmedabad’s Mohiniba Kanya Vidyalaya and subsequently became its principal.They started living apart in 1985, although they did not formally split.
Shwetank (Sanjay) Patel is the couple’s son, while Anar Jayesh Patel is their daughter.Sanjay is a businessman who manages Anar Industries Ltd, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), and Anar is a social entrepreneur and businessperson who runs various trusts that help slum children and encourage handicrafts and craftsmen. She also runs Anar Projects Ltd, a real estate firm.
|Nick Name||Iron Lady of Gujarat, Ben (sister)|
|Birth Date||21 November 1941 (Friday)|
|Age (As of 2021)||80 years old|
|Birth Place||Kharod village, Mehsana, Gujarat|
|Hobbies||Travelling, Writing, Studying, Public Relations|
|Political Party||Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (1987-present)
|Famous For||Being the first female Chief Minister of Gujarat|
|Height(Approx)||In feet & inches: 5’ 3”
In centimters: 161 cm
|Weight(Approx)||In kilograms: 58 kg
In pounds: 127 lbs
|Hair Color||White and Black|
Family Background, Education
|Father Name||Jethabhai Patel (Teacher)|
|Mother Name||Menaben Patel|
|Siblings||She has nine siblings(Names Not Known)
Her eldest sibling, Sarita Patel, died in 2014.
|School||Nagindas Maganlal High School, Ahemdabad, Gujarat|
|Education Qualification||MSc, B.Ed, and M.Ed from Gujarat Vidyapith
BSc from M. G. Panchal Science College
Boyfriend, Husband, Marriage
|Children||Son- Shwetank Patel
Daughter- Anar Jayesh Patel
Favorite Things & Assets
|Favorite Actor||Not Known|
|Favorite TV Show||Not Known|
|Favorite Book(s)||Not Known|
|Favorite Comic Character||Not Known|
Social Media Accounts
After her marriage, Anandiben Patel began working in the Mehsana Development House in Visnagar. Patel’s job was to listen to the women’s concerns and direct them to the late Shantaben Patel, a Mehsana MLA who established the House. She was there for over a year. In 1967, after Anandiben and Mafatlal relocated to Ahemadabad, she began working as a math and science teacher at Mohiniba Vidyalaya. A year later, she was named principal of the same school.
Anandiben entered politics in 1987 with the BJP and steadily ascended through the ranks. She began her career as the President of the BJP’s women’s branch. Patel held prominent positions in the BJP throughout her political career, including President of the State Women’s Front, Vice President of the BJP’s State Unit, and Member of the BJP’s National Executive Council.
Member of Parliament
The teacher-turned-politician was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1994, but she left the Upper House in 1998 to run for office in Gujarat.
Mandal Seat (1998)
Anandiben won her first Assembly election in 1998 from the Mandal assembly seat of Ahmedabad and was appointed to the cabinet of Gujarat’s then-CM Keshubhai Patel. Anandiben served as Gujarat’s Minister of Education (primary, secondary, and adult) and Minister of Women and Child Welfare from 1998 until 2002. Patel made several significant improvements to the state’s education system during her term.
Patan Seat (2002–2012)
Anandiben ran for the Patan constituency in the assembly elections twice, once in 2002 and again in 2007. She won both times comfortably, owing to Narendra Modi’s coaching. Patel held her education portfolio from 2002 to 2007, and the next term she was awarded two portfolios: Revenue and Road and Building.
During her time as a cabinet minister in the BJP-led administration, she was a driving force behind important initiatives such as increasing female literacy. As revenue minister, Anandiben spearheaded various changes, including the development of ‘Janseva Kendras,’ the creation of a single-window clearance system, the online availability of rights records, e-governance, and e-gram.  In addition, during her tenure as minister, the female child dropout rate reduced from 37% in 2001 to 2% in 2013.
Ghatlodia Seat (2012)
Ms Patel ran for re-election in Ahemadabad’s Ghatlodia seat in 2012 and won for the fourth time in a row. Anandiben retained her portfolios of Road and Building, Revenue, Disaster Management, Urban Development and Urban Housing, and Capital Projects under the Modi administration.
Gujarat Chief Minister (2014–2016)
Anandiben Patel was sworn in as Gujarat’s 15th and first female Chief Minister on May 24, 2014. After former Gujarat Chief Minister and incumbent Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister of India, Ms Patel emerged as the inevitable heir. Anandiben was renowned as a socially minded politician who reformed basic education and established improved sanitation programmes as the state’s head.
During her brief term as CM, Patel also prioritised social welfare programmes like as women’s health, child malnutrition, and bathroom construction as part of Modi’s signature ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan;’ nevertheless, her leadership was not without flaws. Under her leadership, the BJP in Gujarat was defeated in the April 2016 Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) elections.
During her brief tenure as CM, Anandiben faced a number of obstacles, notably the Patel quota protests and the flogging of Dalits in Una in 2016. Patel was forced to resign as CM in August 2016, purportedly due to the Patidar quota movement and Dalit demonstrations. She remained in office until her successor, Vijay Rupani, took over on August 7, 2016.
Patel said in her retirement statement on Facebook,
“For some time, the party has instituted a practise of senior officials willingly stepping aside from duties when they reach the age of 75.” That is outstanding and replicable, which is why the next generation is given the opportunity to work… However, the Gujarat assembly election is at the end of 2017, and the annual Vibrant Gujarat conference, which is vital for Gujarat, is in January 2017. So, in order to give the newly appointed Chief Minister adequate time, I asked top party leaders to relieve me of this task two months ago. Today, once again, I sincerely beg that the party’s top leadership relieve me of the Chief Minister’s responsibilities through this letter.”
The former Gujarat Chief Minister took office as Governor of Madhya Pradesh on 23 January 2018, succeeding Om Prakash Kohli, and served for a year until 28 July 2019. Due to the tragic death of then-governor Balram Das Tandon on August 15, 2018, she was also appointed as the Governor of Chhattisgarh. After her predecessor Ram Naik’s tenure expired on July 20, 2019, she took over as Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
Anandiben’s debut novel, “Ae Mane Hamesha Yaad Raheshe” (Gujarati Edition), was published in October 2015. Rannade Publication in Ahmedabad is the publisher of the 35-episode book. Patel discusses her experiences as a teacher before becoming a politician in the book, which mostly focused on numerous social concerns affecting women and children. In an interview, she stated,
“This was all written four to five years ago… Everything was in the computer. Anar and Sanjay (her children) had it printed and gave me a book. I then invited several of my friends to read it. A book has now arrived as a result of their good response.”
Patel and Her Children Accused in Land Scam
Anandiben came under fire after reports surfaced that her children exercised power in the government after Patel became CM. NRI Roshan Shah filed a complaint against Anar Retails Pvt Ltd, owned by Anandiben’s son Sanjay, in 2015, stating that Patel sold from his mother’s Ahmedabad home, which had been shuttered for years. A year later, the Patel government was accused of favouring Anandiben’s daughter’s business partners by allotting them 422 acres of property in 2010 at a massive 91.6 percent discount on the government’s stamp duty rate. The contract was approved by then-Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel.
The dispute started in 2015 after RTI activists filed a public interest lawsuit in Gujarat high court demanding action against the authorities. The situation quickly became political, with opposition leaders seeking Anandiben’s resignation.
Patidar Agitation and Dalit Uprising
A year after taking office as CM, Anandiben came under pressure. During her tenure, the Patidar movement occurred, in which the Patel group demanded reservations and accused previous education minister Anandiben of privatising and making education costly for them. After the public flogging of Dalits in Una in 2016, the scandal was followed by Dalit protests. Anandiben was forced to quit after being chastised for failing to control the rebellion.
Criticised For Insensitive Comments
When Patel was governor of Madhya Pradesh in 2018, she was heavily chastised by the opposition for declaring that BJP politicians “ought to adopt destitute and malnourished children” in order to win votes. Patel was heard saying in a video that was extensively posted on social media:
Visit every village. Sit with the orphans, take them in your lap, and offer them love. If you want to acquire votes, you must adopt them and meet their wants. You’re not going to gain votes like that.”
The statements, according to the state representative of Congress, were “unethical and unlawful, since no governor should become an election manager for any political party.” They requested appropriate action be taken against her.
- Anandiben received the ‘Veer Bala’ award in 1958 for finishing first in the Mehsana District School Sports Festival while still in school.
- In 1987, she received the Gujarat Government’s ‘Gallantry Award’ for saving two Mohinaba Kanya Vidyalaya girls from drowning in the Narmada River’s Navagam reservoir.
- She received the Governor’s Award for Best Teacher in Gujarat in 1988.
- In 1990, Patel earned the national ‘Best Teacher’ award once more. The award was presented to her by the then-President of India.
- In 1999, Anandiben received the ‘Sardar Patel Award’ from the Patel Awakash Mandal in Mumbai.
- Shri Taptodhan Brahmin Vikas Mandal bestowed the ‘Vidya Gaurav’ award on her in 2000.
- Anandiben received the ‘Patidar Shiromani’ award from the Patel community in 2005.
- The Ambu Bhai Old School of Exercise also presented her with the ‘Ambubhai Purani Vyayam Vidyalay Award (Rajpipala).’
- In Ahmedabad, Patel received the ‘Charumathi Yoddha’ Award (Jyotisangh).
- Dharti Vikas Mandal conferred upon her a special honour for her contribution to the Women’s Upliftment Campaign.
- The Indian Express named Anandiben one of the top 100 most important individuals in India in 2014.
Wealth and Net Worth
According to Anandiben’s 2012-2013 ITR, her total income is Rs. 11,80,399. Patel’s total asset worth was Rs. 1,81,94,978 in 2012.
- Cash: Rs 29,000
- Deposits in Banks: Rs 55,20,182
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares: Rs 5,74,796
- Motor Vehicles: Rs 2,50,000
- Jewellery: Rs 23,90,000
Gross Total Value: Rs 87,63,978
- Agricultural Land: Rs 13,20,000
- Non Agricultural Land: Rs 55,00,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs 26,11,000
Total Immovable Assets: Rs 94,31,000
Some Amazing Facts At A Glance About Anandiben Patel
- Anandiben Patel is an Indian politician and former teacher who is currently the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She is Gujarat’s first female Chief Minister, and she is also the former Governor of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
- Anandiben, Gujarat’s longest-serving female lawmaker, is also an educator, social worker, and former cabinet minister in the Gujarat government, where she handled up to five responsibilities. Since 1987, she has been an active member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- She was the sole female student at a boys’ school in her area from grades 5 to 7. Her high school in Ahemdabad had just three female students at the time.
- Anandiben participated in sports while in school and was a district level champion in athletics for three years in a row.
- Ms Patel, who comes from a farming family, earned a gold medal in MSc and M.Ed from Gujarat Vidyapith.
- Anandiben married her now-ex-husband, Mafatlal Patel, who worked as a Psychology professor at the Saraspur Art and Commerce College in Ahmedabad, on May 29, 1962.
- Soon after her marriage, Anandiben began working at the Mehsana Development House in Visnagar, where she would listen to women’s concerns and refer them to the late Shantaben Patel, a Mehsana MLA who constructed the House. After a year, the couple relocated to Ahemadabad, where Anandiben began working as a math and science teacher at Mohiniba Girls’ Vidyalaya in 1967. A year later, she was elevated to the position of principal.
- Patel, the principal of Mohiniba Vidyalaya, rose to prominence in 1987 after she saved two of her students from drowning by promptly diving into the Sardar Sarovar reservoir in the Narmada river.
- Following her heroic stint, several BJP officials approached Anandiben, and she joined the party and entered politics in 1987. Patel began her career as the President of the BJP’s women’s section and advanced quickly through the ranks. She also served as President of the State Women’s Front, Vice President of the BJP’s State Unit, and Member of the National Executive Council of the BJP.
- In 1992, the teacher-turned-politician made history as the only female political leader to take part in the Ekta Yatra from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. On January 26, Anandiben joined then-BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi to the tricolour hoisting event at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
- Anandiben received her first Rajya Sabha nomination in 1994, and she left her Upper House position in 1998 to run in Gujarat elections.
- Patel won her first Assembly elections in 1998 from Ahmedabad’s Mandal assembly seat. She was appointed to the Ministry of Education by the Keshubhai Patel government, a position she maintained until 2002. Patel was acknowledged for making significant contributions to her respective sectors as the Minister of Education (primary, secondary, and adult) and the Minister of Women and Child Welfare, such as increasing female literacy in the state. During her tenure, the female child dropout rate reduced from 37% in 2001 to 2% in 2013.
- Anandiben ran for her second and third assembly seats from the Patan constituency in 2002 and 2007, respectively, and won both times. From 2002 until 2007, Anandiben held the portfolio of Education Minister, however in the next term, he was appointed Minister of Revenue, Roads, and Building.  Anandiben spearheaded changes and delivered various reforms as a revenue minister in the BJP-led administration, including the development of ‘Janseva Kendras,’ establishing e-governance and e-gram, creating a single-window clearance system, making records of rights available online, and so on.
- Anandiben ran from the Ghatlodia constituency in Ahemadabad in the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections and won for the fourth time. When Gujarat’s Narendra Modi came to power, Patel kept her portfolios of Revenue, Roads and Buildings, Urban Development and Urban Housing, Disaster Management, and Capital Projects.
- Anandiben Patel’s political career was boosted two years later, on May 24, 2014, when she became Gujarat’s first female Chief Minister when former Gujarat CM and incumbent Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister of India.
- As Gujarat’s Chief Minister, Anandiben implemented changes to improve basic education and emphasised cleanliness programmes. Patel, a socially conscious politician, has also championed social welfare programmes in the state, including women’s health, child malnutrition, and the construction of toilets under Modi’s flagship ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.’
- Anandiben Patel was appointed Governor of Madhya Pradesh on 23 January 2018, succeeding Om Prakash Kohli, and Governor of Chhattisgarh on 15 August 2018, following the tragic death of the then-governor Balram Das Tandon. She held these positions till July 28, 2019, before taking over as Governor of Uttar Pradesh on July 20, 2019, succeeding Ram Naik.
- Ms Patel has worked closely with Narendra Modi throughout her political career, and she even supported him when he was expelled from the state due to a BJP internal dispute. Anandiben, a fervent Narendra Modi supporter, has been his second in command in Gujarat for years, and she reportedly used to be in control of the state in Modi’s absence. Patel is also known as Modi’s left arm, as opposed to Amit Shah, who is known as the PM’s right arm.
- Mafatbhai almost joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in January 2014 to protest Modi’s reign in Gujarat, but he allegedly did not go forward with his choice when his children urged him against it.