Nirmala Sitharaman, 58, is the current Union Defence Minister under Prime Minister Narendra Modi government. Earlier, she held the position of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry, during the first three years of the NDA regime. She served as a member of the National Commission for Women between 2003-2005. She was first inivited to become a member fo the BJP's National Executive in 2008, after which she became actively involved with party's economic and political resolutions. She
was appointed as the National spokesperson of the party in 2010. In 2012, Sitharaman worked directly under Modi, given the responsibility of organising BJPs media campaign for the elections.