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Meenakshi Natrajan's road to Lok Sabha

May 24, 2009 15:24 IST

She looks everything but a politician. Newly-elected Lok Sabha member, Meenakshi Natrajan prefers to lug her own baggage at the railway station and has no airs about herself.

The 36-year-old Congress leader, considered close to Rahul Gandhi, prefers a simple life.

Lugging two bags over her shoulder and rushing to Platform Number3 of Nizamuddin station here to board a train to her Mandsaur constituency, 84 km from Bhopal, she feels politics is a route to reach out to the aam-admi (common man).

"Till now, I was working for a particular group (National Students Union of India -- the students' wing of Congress). But now the canvas will be larger and the experiences learnt will be put to test," 36-year-old Natrajan told PTI.

Carrying a tiffin box and dressed in a simple cotton salwar kameez, the be-spectacled Bio-Chemistry post-graduate looks everything but a politician.

Asked how a South Indian could win a seat that Congress could not in the last 25 and that too in a BJP-ruled state, Natrajan shot back: 'Though my origin may be South India, I was born and bought up in Madhya Pradesh just like my mother. I have always represented the state at all party fora."

On her first experience in the Lok Sabha polls where she trounced BJP strongman and five-time MP Laxmi Narayan Pandey by over 30,000 votes, she said: "The opposition dubbed me as an outsider as I come from nearby Ratlam, but I remained steadfast in my commitment to a better future for my voters who wholeheartedly supported a young candidate."

A voracious non-fiction reader, the Blackberry-savvy Natrajan draws her inspiration from the books like Old Path, White Clouds by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

To a question if politics in the country needed to be changed, she said, "I cannot comment on it but the youth is coming forward and they should. Rahul Gandhi's efforts have opened the way for youth to be instrumental in the development of the country."

Daughter of Ratlam-based parents, Natrajan hails from a simple middle-class family.

Her favourite movies are Mother India, Rang De Basanti, Yuva, Gandhi and the Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.

The favourite cuisine of the young leader is 'Dal Bafley' and prefers listening to Krishnam Vande Bhajan albums besides ghazals by Jagjit Singh and Sitar by Pandit Ravishankar.

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