Sucheta Kriplani

Sucheta Kriplani
Sucheta Kriplani.jpg
Sucheta Kriplani
4th Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
In office
2 October 1963 – 13 March 1967
Preceded by Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Succeeded by Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Personal details
Born 25 June 1908
Ambala, Punjab, British India
Died 1 December 1974 (aged 66)
Political party INC
Spouse(s) Acharya Kriplani

Sucheta Kriplani (née Mazumdar, 25 June 1908[1] – 1 December 1974[2][3]) was an Indian freedom fighter and politician. She was India's first woman Chief Minister, serving as the head of the Uttar Pradesh government from 1963 to 1967.

Early life

She was born in Ambala, Punjab (now in Haryana) to a Bengali family. She studied at Indraprastha College[4] and Panjab University before becoming a Professor of Constitutional History at Banaras Hindu University.[5] In 1936, she married Acharya Kriplani, a prominent figure of the Indian National Congress, who was twenty years her senior. The marriage was opposed by both families, as well as by Gandhi himself, although he eventually relented.[6]

Freedom Movement and Independence

Like her contemporaries Aruna Asaf Ali and Usha Mehta, she came to the forefront during the Quit India Movement. She later worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi during the Partition riots. She accompanied him to Noakhali in 1946. She was one of the few women who were elected to the Constituent Assembly and was part of the subcommittee that drafted the Indian Constitution. She became a part of the subcommittee that was handed over the task of laying down the charter for the constitution of India. On 14 August 1947 she sang Vande Mataram in the Independence Session of the Constituent Assembly, a few minutes before Nehru delivered his famous "Tryst with Destiny" speech.[7] She was also the founder of All India Mahilla Congress, established in 1940.


Kriplani with (from left to right) Ulla Lindström, Barbara Castle, Cairine Wilson and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1949.

After the independence, she remained involved with politics. For the first Lok Sabha elections in 1952, she contested from New Delhi on a KMPP ticket: she had joined the short-lived party founded by her husband the year before. She defeated the Congress candidate Manmohini Sahgal. Five years later, she was reelected from the same constituency, but this time she was the Congress candidate.[8] She was elected one last time to the Lok Sabha in 1967, from Gonda constituency in Uttar Pradesh.[5]

Meanwhile, she had also become a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. From 1960 to 1963, she served as Minister of Labour, Community Development and Industry in the UP government.[5] In October 1963, she became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the first woman to hold that position in any Indian state. The highlight of her tenure was the firm handling of a state employees strike. The first-ever strike by the state employees which continued for 62 days took place during her regime. She relented only when the employees' leaders agreed for compromise. Kriplani kept her reputation as a firm administrator by refusing their demand for pay hike.

She retired from politics in 1971 and remained in seclusion till her death in 1974.


  1. ^ S K Sharma (2004), Eminent Indian Freedom Fighters, Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., p. 560, ISBN 978-81-261-1890-8 
  2. ^ []
  3. ^ []
  4. ^ "Vital statistics of colleges that figure among India's top rankers". India Today. 21 May 2001. 
  5. ^ a b c "Kripalani, Shrimati Sucheta". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  6. ^ Usha Thakkar, Jayshree Mehta (2011). Understanding Gandhi: Gandhians in Conversation with Fred J Blum. SAGE Publications. pp. 409–410. ISBN 978-81-321-0557-2. 
  7. ^ Thursday, the 14th August 1947 on
  8. ^ David Gilmartin (2014). "Chapter 5: The paradox of patronage and the people's sovereignty". In Anastasia Pivliavsky. Patronage as Politics in South Asia. Cambridge University Press. pp. 151–152. ISBN 978-1-107-05608-4. 

Political offices
Preceded by
Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
2 October 1963 – 13 March 1967
Succeeded by
Chandra Bhanu Gupta