MUMBAI: BJP leader Jayawantiben Mehta, 78, a minister in the cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away today following a long bout of illness.
The cremation will take place at 5.30 pm today at the Shivaji Park crematorium, Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said
Jaywantiben was minister of state for power in the Vajpayee cabinet. She forayed into politics in 1962 and was elected as a corporator of Mumbai in 1968. During the Emergency in 1975, Mehta was imprisoned for 19 months.
She was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in 1978, and served two terms up to 1985.
In 1980, she became a member of the BJP national executive and in 1988, was made the party's secretary. She was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989, and then subsequently reelected in 1996 and 1999.
She represented the Mumbai North East constituency in the ninth Lok Sabha in 1989 and Mumbai South constituency in the 11th and 13th Lok Sabha in 1996 and 1999. She served as president of the BJP Mahila Morcha (1991-1995) and as vice-president of the BJP (1993-1995).