Smriti Irani, who had been the Minister for Textiles in the latter part of the first term of the Narendra Modi government, was given charge of the Union Women and Child Development ministry in the second term of Modi's Bharatiya janata party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance government.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Irani had emerged as a 'giant killer'. Contesting from the high-profile Amithi seat in Uttar Pradesh, Irani defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi by a margin of 55120 votes. She polled 49.71 per the votes cast in the constituency, compared with Gandhi's vote share of 43.86 per cent.
Earlier, in the first term of the Modi government, Irani was also the Minister of Information and Broadcasting (from July 18, 2017 to May 14, 2018). And, she had been the Minister of Human Resource Development from May 26, 2014, to July 5, 2016.
A former television actress, Irani joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2003. In 2004, she was made the vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing of the BJP. She rose up the ranks to become a National Secretary in 2010 and a spokesperson for the party in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2014 general elections, too, Irani had been fielded by the BJP for the Amethi seat against Gandhi. However, she had lost to Gandhi in his family's pocket borough by a margin of 107,923 votes. Later, she had become a member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.
Also during the Modi's first term in office, a controversy had erupted over Irani's educational qualifications in 2015. She was accused of filing contradictory affidavits regarding the same on two different instances. In one affidavit, she claimed to have completed her graduation, whereas another stated that she was 12th pass. Irani had also claimed that she held a certificate from the Yale University, which later turned out to be a 6-day training programme attended by a group of MPs.