Pratibha Patil began her political career in 1962 at the age of 27 when she was elected in assembly election from Edlabad constituency. In 1967, she became deputy minister for education. In her next term in 1972-78, she was a full cabinet minister for the state. She held the portfolios of tourism, social welfare, housing, etc. In 1985, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha. She never lost election that she contested.
Pratibha Patil was married to educator Devising Ramsingh Shekhawat in July 1965. She set up an education institute in Jalgaon and Mumbai with her husband Ramsingh Shekhawat. She also constituted Shram Sadhana Trust that runs hostels for working women in New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. She also founded a co-operative sugar factory and a co-operative bank named after herself as Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank. She has also been involved in setting up various educational and professional institutions to help the neglected, deprived and disadvantaged sections of society.
In 1977, when there was split in the Congress Party, Pratibha Patil remained with Indira Gandhi while many senior Congress leaders joined the other faction of the split Congress. She also served as the deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. In 1991, she was for the first time elected for the 10th Lok Sabha from Amravati, her husband’s city. In 2004, she was appointed the governor of Rajasthan.
She was the first woman to honour this prestigious post. She resigned from the post of the governor of Rajasthan on June 21, 2007, when she filed nomination as a candidate for President Election. She was the deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha from November 1986 to November 1988. She efficiently performed her duty. Pratibha Devising Patil created history in Indian politics by being the first woman President in the 60th year of India’s Independence. At the age of 72, with wide political experience she is expected to take the nation at the height of fame and glory by her vision and decision.
Indian women have lots of expectations from the President.