Kamla Beniwal Biography

Kamla Beniwal is an Indian politician and has been the senior Congress leader. She has also served as the governor of Gujarat, Tripura and Mizoram. She has been a minister in the Congress government in Rajasthan and the first ever woman Governor of any northeastern state.

Personal background of Kamla Beniwal

Kamla Beniwal was born on January 12, 1927 at Village Gorir in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. She belongs to the Mann Gotra Jat community. Beniwal comes from a famous freedom fighter’s family. Shri Netram Singh, her father was a renowned freedom fighter in Rajputana.

She also coordinated and took leadership roles in important people’s protests in opposition to Jagirdari arrangement in the Jhunjhunu and Sikar district. She also stood up versus the British domination and the monarchs of Jaipur State. As a result, she was incarcerated in Kalkothari and had to undergo other adversities. For her bravery and courage, Kamla Beniwal received the “Tamra Patra” award from Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.

The husband of Kamla Beniwal is late Shri Ramchandra Beniwal.

Student life of Kamla Beniwal

She attained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Economics, and History from Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Tonk in Rajasthan. She completed her post graduation (Master of Arts) in History from Maharaja College, Jaipur.

Early life of Kamla Beniwal

Since she was a daughter of a renowned freedom fighter and studied at Banasthali Vidhyapeeth, Kamla Beniwal was involved in the battle for independence from a very young age.

In 1938, she took part in the opening meeting of Prajamandal (a party association for independence movement in the former Royal State of Rajputana). She was chosen as “Captain of girls” of the volunteer group from Banasthali Vidhyapeeth. Beniwal led ‘Prabhat Pheries’ with patriotic songs and mottos in the city of Jaipur and joined in the key parade with the national level leaders. From that time, she together with her Bal Sainik Dal graced their existence at all meetings of Prajamandal in various places of Rajputana. Subsequently, she learnt horse riding and took part in the general march past of the Congress President on horseback in company with her volunteer unit. Kamla Beniwal was present at the Meerut Congress session as a volunteer as well.

In addition, she piloted the Ladies Volunteer unit at Udaipur during the event of All India State Peoples’ Conference where Shri Sheikh Abdullah and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru delivered speeches.

Shortly after freedom in 1948, the inaugural Congress Session took place in Jaipur. At that time, she was studying post graduation in History in Maharaja College, Jaipur. Beniwal coached the Women Volunteer Corps and delivered excellent performance. The elegant and regimented attendance of the lady volunteers in the meeting awed all, even the top leaders such as Pandit Nehru.

Political Career

She has been a minister in Congress governments in Rajasthan since 1954. In fact, she was the first woman minister in Rajasthan in the fifties and held the portfolio of Medical and Health, and Education and Public Works. She was again a Minister in 1962 with portfolios of Education and Agriculture.

For a decade, from 1980 to 1990, she was a cabinet minister in the Rajasthan government. During this time she held a sheer diversity of portfolios such as Agriculture, Animal husbandry, Irrigation, Labor and Employment, Education, Art and Culture, Tourism and Integrated Rural development.

In 1993 she was no longer a minister but still was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Bairath, Jaipur. She become a cabinet minister again in 1998, and was the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 2003.

In her long career she has been closely associated with the functioning of the state Congress party and is a member of the All India Congress Committee. Among the party posts she has held she has been a the joint secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee during 1977 elections, member of the Rajasthan Congress Executive Committee, President of the Rajasthan Mahila Congress, member of the Rajasthan Pradesh Election Committee, and then the Chairman of the Election Campaign Committee.

Kamla Beniwal was a minister in the State Government of Rajasthan for an extensive period of time, holding different cabinets. As a minister, she has served the Rajasthan Government for nearly 50 years.

She has held the position of Governor in three different states – Tripura (2009), Gujarat (2009- 2014) and Mizoram (2014). She was removed from her governorship just few months before her tenure was to end in Mizoram; after she was charged with ‘misuse of office’ in Gujarat during her tenure.

Positions held by Kamla Beniwal

Listed below are the various positions that Kamla Beniwal graced:

  • Member of the Executive Committee of All India Panchayat.
  • Chairperson – Rajasthan State Social Welfare Board and per se launched the projects for Women and Child Welfare in the state.
  • Vice President, S.O.S. Children Village, Jaipur.
  • Executive Committee Member, Banasthali Vidhyapeeth, District Tonk, Rajasthan
  • President, Rajasthan Sanskrit Sahitya Sammelan, Jaipur

Positions held in Co-operative Campaign after 1955

Kamla Beniwal is one of the founder members of the Co-operative Movement and different important organizations in the state of Rajasthan. She held the following positions in these organizations:

  • President of Rajasthan State Co-operative Union, Jaipur.
  • General Secretary of Rajasthan State Co-operative Union, Jaipur.
  • Member, General Body, Executive Committee, and Governing Council of National Co-operative Union of India, Khelgaon, New Delhi.
  • Member, General Body and Executive Committee of All India Co-Operative Union, Jorbagh, New Delhi.
  • Chairman, Women Co-operative Advisory Committee (NCUI), New Delhi.
  • President, Co-Operative College Jaipur.
  • Member, Women Committee of International Co-operative Alliance, London – UK.
  • Member – Women Consultative Committee (NCUI) New Delhi.
  • Member – Co-operative Training College (NCUI), Jaipur.

Kamla Beniwal is one of the most committed and senior co-operators in India. She has served as the representative of the Rajasthan unit in National Co-operative Union of India in different ranks for nearly 20 years. As one of the limited and leading co-operators in India, Beniwal has been linked with the primary association of the All India Co-operative Union, Jorbagh, New Delhi, which is currently named as the National Co-operative Union of India (NCUI). From the very start of Co-operative Union, Beniwal was dynamically involved in the campaign to turn it into a real spokesperson establishment of the countrywide co-operative campaign. She received the Best Co-operator of India Award conferred by IFFCO in 1994 – 95.

Positions held for Indian National Congress

  • Member – All India Congress Committee, New Delhi.
  • Member – Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee.
  • Member – Rajasthan Pradesh Election Committee (PEC).
  • Member – Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Executive Committee, Jaipur.
  • Member – Jaipur Rural District Congress Executive Committee.
  • Chairman – Election Campaign Committee, Rajasthan.
  • Joint Secretary – Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee from 1977-80.
  • President – Rajasthan Pradesh Mahila Congress.
  • Member – Pradesh Congress Sub-Committee for drafting message with respect to the letdowns of the Bharitiya Janata Party Government in Rajasthan.
  • Convener – Rajasthan Pradesh Sadbhavna Yatra Publicity Sub-Committee.


Ministerial Career of Kamla Beniwal

Tenure Ministerial Post and Departments
1954-57 She became the first woman minister for the Government of Rajasthan. At that time, she was just 27 years old. The departments handled by her were Education, Medical and Health, and Public Works Department (PWD).
1962-67 During this period, she served as Deputy Minister. She managed the following departments:

  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Medical and Health
  • Food
  • Famine Relief
  • State Enterprises
  • Animal Husbandry
1972-77 During this tenure, Kamla Beniwal served as State Minister and she managed the following departments:

  • Industries
  • Home (Police)
  • Social Welfare
  • Mines
  • General Administration
  • Medical and Health
  • Personnel and Economics and Statistics Department
  • Public Relations
Cabinet Minister- 1980-1985 & 1985-1990 During these two consecutive terms, Kamla Beniwal served as Cabinet Minister in Rajasthan and oversaw the following departments:

  • Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development
  • Agriculture
  • Irrigation
  • Revenue
  • Colonization
  • Rajasthan Canal (Indira Gandhi Canal)
  • Ground Water
  • Canal Area Development
  • Education
  • Energy Department
  • Rehabilitation
  • Labor and Employment
  • Sanskrit
  • Urban Development
  • Language
  • Ayurveda
  • Election
  • Technical Education
  • Art and Culture
  • Integrated Rural Development
  • Special Schemes
  • Tourism
  • Sheep & Wool
  • Sainik Kalyan
  • Forest Department
1993-1998 During this period, she was a Member of Legislative Assembly from Bairath (Jaipur) Assembly Constituency.
1998 She again became Cabinet Minister in the Rajasthan Government
2003 She served as Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan. She had overseen the following departments:

  • Revenue
  • Irrigation
  • Sanskrit Education
  • Colonization

How is Kamla Beniwal as a Minister?

Other than being a quite senior member of the Indian National Congress, Kamla Beniwal is famous as a minister of good quality, honesty, and excellent performance. She had managed all the operations of her departments with comprehensive learning and diligence. She has lucid ideas about her task and was quite energetic to muster her officials to keep high standards of operation. As Agriculture Minister of the state, she was a key functionary in the setting up of Rajasthan Agriculture University in Bikaner.

As an Irrigation Minister, she completed the fabulous task of making district programmes of approximately 48,000 water harvesting plants in Rajasthan. As a result, a huge number of small, medium, and big projects are underway. This is certainly good news for farmers who suffer from drought.

She had a key role in setting up the National Institute of Ayurved, at Jaipur. With her firm endeavor, she has also set up a Sanskrit University at Jaipur.