Deepa Dasmunshi, 52, who is part of the West Bengal brigade, has been sworn in Minister of Urban Development.
Deepa, who was inducted into the union council of ministers on Sunday, is popular among the West Bengal Congress for her persistent and stubborn opposition to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
Dasmunsi, 52, the wife of Congress leader and former union minister Priya Ranjan Dashmunshi, who has been comatose for several years after suffering a cerebral stroke, was sworn in as union minister of state for urban development.
After the Congress-Trinamool divorce, Dasmunshi's anointment as a central minister is being seen as a reward for her guts during the Congress' difficult times in West Bengal as the high command tries to raise the pitch against Banerjee and rebuild the party in the state.
An award-winning theatre activist who joined politics after her marriage, Dasmunshi became an MLA from Goalpokhar constituency in North Dinajpur district in 2006, before winning the Lok Sabha polls from her husband's constituency Raiganj in 2009.
A gold medallist in her post-graduation in dramatics from Rabindra Bharati University, Dasmunshi is a good orator. She is characterised by the large red bindi that she always wears.
Image: Deepa Dasmunshi being sworn-in by President Pranab Mukherjee during a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday.