Dehradun: On Saturday, Ritu Khanduri of the Bharatiya Janata Party was elected as the fifth Speaker of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly, becoming the first woman Speaker of the state Assembly.
Before taking a plunge into politics, Ritu Khanduri worked as a teacher at Amity University in Noida. While being active in politics, Khanduri rose to public prominence in 2017 when she won the Yamkeshwar seat in the Uttarakhand Assembly elections. She was appointed to the State Committee on Information and Technology at the time. She was hesitant to leave the teaching profession and join politics but did so at the behest of her father Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri.
Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri had lost the assembly elections in the year 2012 from the Kotdwar seat to Surendra Singh Negi. He then distanced himself from politics. His legacy was later taken over by Ritu Khanduri who contested the Yamkeshwar seat for the first time and defeated former minister Surendra Singh Negi.
Ritu Khanduri’s brother, Manish Khanduri, is a member of the Indian National Congress and had contested the Lok Sabha polls from the Garhwal constituency in 2019, but lost the elections. In the 2019 assembly elections, Ritu’s father, Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, former CM of Uttarakhand, had refused to contest citing age-related problems. Following this, Tirath Singh Rawat contested from the Pauri Garhwal seat and won against Khanduri’s son.