Age: 62 Years
Husband: Sanjay Gandhi
|Full Name||Maneka Sanjay Gandhi|
|Profession||Politician & Animal Rights Activist|
|Political Party||• Rashtriya Sanjay Manch (1983-1988)
• Janata Dal (1988-1996)
• Bharatiya Janata Party (2004-Present)
|Political Journey||• In 1983, Maneka Gandhi founded the Rashtriya Sanjay Manch
• Her party won four out of five seats in the 1983 Assembly Elections of Andhra Pradesh
• She contested the 1984 Lok Sabha Elections from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh but lost to Rajiv Gandhi
• In 1988, she merged her party with VP Singh's Janata Dal and was also made the General Secretary of the Janata Dal
• In November 1989, she won her first election and was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha
• She got appointed as the Minister of State for The Ministry of Environment in the VP Singh Government
• She served as the Environment Minister from 1989 to 1991
• In 1996 and 1998, she contested the Lok Sabha elections from Pilibhit as an independent candidate and won
• In 1999, she supported the BJP and was appointed as the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment
• She joined the BJP in 2004 and contested and won the Lok Sabha Elections from Pilibhit
• In 2009 she contested from the Aonla Lok Sabha seat
• Became a member of the Loka Sabha from the Pilibhit Constituency
• She was made the Union Minister of Women & Child Development in 2014 in the Narendra Modi Government
• She contested the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from Sultanpur and won by a slender margin of 14,526 votes against BSP’s Chandra Bhadra Singh
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Lord Erskine Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in 1992
• Environmentalist and Vegetarian of the year 1994
• Prani Mitra Award in 1996
• Lifetime Achievement Award by the Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation, 1999
• Dewaliben Charitable Trust Award, 1999
• International Women's Association, Woman of the Year Award, 2001
• Dinanath Mangeshkar Aadishakti Puraskar in the field of Environment and Animal Welfare, 2001
• Woman of the Year Award by International Women's Association, 2001
• Rukmini Devi Arundale Animal Welfare Award, 2011
• Human Achiever Award in the field of Women Empowerment and Children Welfare by the Human Achiever Foundation, India
|Date of Birth||26 August 1956|
|Age (as in 2018)||62 Years|
|School||Lawrence School, Sanawar, Himachal Pradesh|
|College/University||• Lady Sri Ram College for Women, New Delhi
• Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
|Address||14, Ashoka Road,New Delhi|
|Controversies||• She had a sore relationship with Indira Gandhi throughout her married life, and after Sanjay Gandhi's death in 1980, Indira expelled her from the official residence of the Prime Minister; stating that she had been hateful against the Gandhi family and didn't deserve to be there.
• Before the 2014 Assembly Elections of Uttar Pradesh in 2014, she appealed to the BJP leadership vigorously to name her son Varun Gandhi as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
• In 2019, the Election Commission issued a show-cause notice to Maneka Gandhi for her hate speech in Sultanpur. She said in a rally that she wouldn't provide Muslims with jobs if they didn't vote for her.
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||Late Sanjay Gandhi|
|Marriage Date||23 September 1974|
|Husband/Spouse||Late Sanjay Gandhi (Politician)|
|Children||Son- Varun Gandhi
|Parents||Father- Late Lt. Col. Tarlochan Singh Anand
Mother- Late Amteshwar Anand
Sister- Ambika Shukla
|Assets/Properties||Movable Assets: INR 12.46 crores
Cash: INR 39,000
Bank Deposits: INR 6.07 crores
Jewellery: 3415.59 gm of Gold and 85.025 kg of Silver worth INR 1 crores
Bonds & Debentures: INR 6.07 crores
Immovable Assets: INR 24.95 crores
1 Residential Building worth INR 18 crores
1 Commercial Building worth INR 6 crores
|Salary (as The Minister of Women and Child Development)||INR 1 lac + other benefits (per month)|
|Net Worth (approx.)||INR 37.14 crores (as in 2014)|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Maneka Gandhi
- Maneka Gandhi is an Indian politician, Animal Rights Activist and Environmentalist. She was married to the Late Sanjay Gandhi. She is currently in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is the Union Minister for Women & Child Development in the Narendra Modi Government.
- Maneka was born in New Delhi to Lt. Col. Tarlochan Singh Anand and Amteshwar Anand. She did her schooling from the Lawrence school in Sanwar, a school which was attended by the children of many renowned personalities from all over India.
- She completed her graduation from Lady Sri Ram College for Women, New Delhi and thereafter, went on to study German from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
- When she was in Lady Sri Ram College, she participated and won in many beauty pageants and fashion shows.
- She had been taking up modelling assignments since college, but her first major break was when she got selected for an advertisement for Bombay Dyeing. She was appreciated widely for that advertisement. It got her to be noticed by Sanjay Gandhi as well, who reportedly fell in love with her after seeing the advertisement.
- In 1973, she met Sanjay Gandhi at a cocktail party of her cousin, Veenu Anand. They spent time together at the party and she instantly grew a liking towards him. They agreed to meet further too.
- Even though Maneka’s mother did not like her relationship with Sanjay Gandhi, they got engaged in July 1974 and got married two months later on 23 September 1974. Indira Gandhi gifted Maneka a khadi saree weaved by Jawaharlal Nehru himself, which was one of Maneka’s most valuable wedding gift.
- The Emergency period saw the rise of Sanjay Gandhi as a leader. He was a great influence on Indira Gandhi, and it was reported that the nation was being run from the Prime Minister’s Home (PMH) rather than the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO); as Sanjay was making all the decisions between 1973-1977. This made Maneka ambitious; as she believed that someday, Sanjay would become the Prime Minister of India.
- After the Congress faced defeat in the 1977 elections, Sanjay and Maneka started planning for the next elections, to bring the Congress back in power. Maneka started a monthly political magazine called Surya. This helped swing the public opinion in Indira Gandhi’s favour; as after the Emergency, everyone wanted Congress out of power.
- Congress came back to power in 1980 with a great verdict. A lot of this happened due to Sanjay Gandhi’s strategising and Maneka Gandhi’s magazine, Surya; which regularly used to publish articles and interviews of Indira Gandhi and her plan for India’s future.
- On 13 March 1980, Sanjay and Maneka had their first child. He was named Feroze, but later Indira Gandhi named him Varun.
- On 23 June 1980, Sanjay Gandhi, a plane enthusiast, died in a plane crash while flying a new Pitts S-2A aircraft of the Delhi Flying Club. He was performing an aerobatic manoeuvreWikipedia and lost control of the plane which led to his death.
- Maneka Gandhi was devasted by her husband’s death. Maneka had ridden the plane along with Sanjay just a day before his death, and soon after coming back, she warned Indira Gandhi about the condition of the plane and insisted that Sanjay should not fly that aircraft as it wasn’t in a good condition.
- Maneka raised Varun according to the ZoroastrianWikipedia religion; as it was her husband’s wish that his children should be raised in a monotheistic faith.
- After Sanjay’s death, Indira Gandhi brought Rajiv Gandhi into politics and it was reported that Maneka was upset with this. She was expecting to take up Sanjay’s position after his death. She had an argument with Indira Gandhi, and Maneka was forced out of the Prime Minister’s House.
- In 1983, Maneka formed her own party, Rashtriya Sanjay Manch. They won 4 out of the 5 seats in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, which was an achievement considering that it was a new party.
- In 1984, she contested the Lok Sabha elections against Rajiv Gandhi from Amethi but lost with a huge margin; as Rajiv had the public’s sympathy due to Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
- She won her first Lok Sabha election in 1989 after she had merged her party with the Janata Dal in 1988. She was appointed as the Minister of State for The Ministry of Environment.
- In 1992, she started the organization People For Animals; which is the largest organization in India for Animal Rights/Welfare. She is also the current Chairperson of the organization.
- In 1996 and in 1998, she contested the Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate from Pilibhit and won. In 1999, on supporting the BJP as an individual candidate, she was made the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government.
- She officially joined the BJP in 2004 along with her son, Varun Gandhi.
- After the 2014 General Elections, she was inducted in Narendra Modi’s Cabinet as The Union Minister of Women and Child Development.
- She has written 13 books from 1980 to 2009 about topics varying from Animal Welfare, Environment and one book about her Late husband Sanjay Gandhi.