Pankaja Munde Age, Caste, Husband, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Age: 44 Years
Husband: Amit Palwe
Hometown: Parli Vaijnath, Maharashtra

Pankaja Munde

Full namePankaja Gopinath Munde [1]Pankaja Munde - Instagram
Famous for• Being the National Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party
• Being the daughter of former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 7”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
Political PartyBharatiya Janata Party
BJP logo
Political Journey• 2009–2019: Elected to the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra from the Parli constituency
• 31 October 2014–24 October 2019: Elected as the Cabinet Minister of Maharashtra
• 26 September 2020: Elected as the National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party
Awards• 2017: The Powerful Politician Award
• 2018: Panchayati Raj Award
Pankaja Munde being awarded the Panchayati Raj Award
• 2018: Iconic Inspirational Women of Navbharat Award
Pankaja Munde receiving the Iconic Inspirational Women of Navbharat Award
Personal Life
Date of Birth26 July 1979 (Thursday)
Age (as of 2023) 44 Years
BirthplaceParli Vaijnath, Maharashtra
Zodiac signLeo
SignaturePankaja Munde's signature
HometownParli Vaijnath, Maharashtra
School• Shri Saraswati Vidyalaya, Parli, Maharashtra (till class 10)
• Jai Hind College, Mumbai
College/UniversityRamnarain Ruia College, Mumbai
Educational QualificationBachelor of Science (1999) [2]My Neta
Religious ViewsHinduism
Pankaja Munde performing a Hindu ritual
ControversiesAccused of Chikki Scam
In June 2015, the opposition party Indian National Congress alleged her of being involved in a 206 crores Chikki scandal. According to them, she violated norms by approving the purchase without any advertisements. However, Munde denied the corruption charges and explained that the online tendering system was not in place when she authorized the purchase. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also came to her defence, stating that the e-tendering norm was introduced by his government two months after Munde approved the contracts. She boldly challenged her opponents, stating that she would not only resign from the party but also quit politics permanently if any evidence of her accepting even a rupee from anyone was found. After a few days, the Anti Corruption Bureau of Maharashtra cleared her of the charges in the 206 crores Chikki scandal stating that the tender was awarded in accordance with court rules and no evidence was found to support the allegations. The Bombay High Court criticized the state government for not filing a First Information Report (FIR) against the contractors who allegedly supplied sub-standard chikki to state-run schools in 2015. The court requested the petitioner to provide a list of points outlining how the contract awarding procedure for chikki was not followed. The court demanded an enquiry to find out if the contracts were illegal. The court also questioned the absence of offences registered under the Food Safety Act against the suppliers. [3]The Hindu

Involvement in mobile phone scam
In 2019, she was accused by her cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde of an Rs. 106 crore scam involving the huge purchase of cell phones. She bought 1.02 lakh Panasonic Eluga 17 mobile phones for 85,452 Anganwadi centres in 30 districts. The market price of the phone was Rs. 6,499 per handset, but Pankaja raised an invoice for Rs. 8,777. The Panasonic Eluga 17 mobile was sold between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 6,400 online. According to the Government Resolution statement, these smartphones were purchased for Information Computer Technology enabled Real-Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) scheme. The mobiles were distributed to Anganwadi workers along with SIM cards and a data plan. The Women and Child Development department also purchased 5,100 additional handsets. In a statement, he said,
The company's postal address was not provided in the tender documents. Besides, the government did not negotiate at all. If the same model can be bought for Rs 6,499, why have they bought it at such a steep price? Something is fishy and needs to be probed." [4]DNA

Raid in her Sugar Factory
In April 2023, her Parli-based Vaidyanath Sugar Factory was raided by GST officials even though the factory was closed for a long time. The mill was running at a loss for the last six-seven years after being affected by the drought from 2013 to 2015. It was also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. On asking the GST officials about the raid, she was told that they had orders from above. In an interview, she said that she informed Amit Shah about the financial crisis and the loss of the sugar mill. Talking about the raid, she said that the sugar mill was in debt of Rs. 250 crore and they had already paid Rs. 152 crore and they were planning to pay Rs. 12 crore GST as well. [5]The Hindu The Goods and Services Tax Commissionerate seized assets from Vaidyanath Sugar Fctory on 25 September 2023; the seized assets, which included the factory's boiler, valued at Rs. 19 crores. [6]Hindustan Times
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Marriage DateYear, 2001
Husband/SpouseAmit Palwe (IT professional)
Pankaja Munde with her husband
ChildrenSon- Aryaman Palwe
Pankaja Munde with her son
ParentsFather- Gopinath Munde (former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra)
Pankaja Munde's father
Mother- Pradnya Munde
Pankaja Munde (left) with her mother (third from left)
SiblingsSister(s)- 2
Pritam Munde (politician)
Pankaja Munde with her sister Pritam
• Yashashari Munde
Pankaja Munde with her sister Yashashari
Other RelativesPaternal Uncle- Pramod Mahajan (politician)
Pankaja Munde with her uncle
Cousin(s)- 2
Rahul Mahajan (television personality)
Poonam Mahajan (politician)
Pankaja Munde with her cousin Poonam Mahajan
Money Factor
Assets/PropertiesMovable Assets
• Cash: Rs. 9,26,536
• Bank Deposits: Rs. 2,84,99,438
• Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs. 2,07,83,307
• Motor Vehicles: Rs. 33,54,197
• Jewellery: Rs. 29,65,000
• Other assets: Rs. 14,93,220

Immovable Assets
• Agricultural Land: Rs. 10,03,38,333
• Commercial Buildings: Rs. 1,41,09,494
• Residential Buildings: Rs. 6,51,36,549

Note: The given estimates of moveable and immovable assets are according to the financial year 2019. It does not include the assets owned by her husband and dependents. [7]My Neta
Net Worth (approx.)Rs. 18,34,31,025

Note: The given estimates of moveable and immovable assets are according to the financial year 2019. It does not include the assets owned by her husband and dependents. [8]My Neta

Pankaja Munde

Some Lesser Known Facts About Pankaja Munde

  • Pankaja Munde is an Indian politician who is known for being the daughter of the former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde. She is also known for being the National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

    Pankaja Munde as a teenager with her father and sisters

    Pankaja Munde as a teenager with her father and sisters

  • In 1996, the Dasara Melava, an event which is a sign of devotion and strength was started by her father Gopinath Munde at Shree Kshetra Bhagwangad, a Hindu temple in Maharashtra. The place is also a cemetery and workplace of the great Saint Bhagwan Baba. During the Melava, Gopinath addressed the Bahujan community, urging them to take new paths and follow changes followed by the term ‘Shimoullanghan.’ After Gopinath Munde’s demise, Pankaja took charge of organizing the event. In 2016, due to a disagreement with the Mahant of the Gad, Pankaja decided to hold the Dasara Melava at Savargaon, the birthplace of Saint Bhagwan Baba. The event witnessed a large gathering and enthusiastic participation of devotees continuing the tradition. Bhagwangad holds a position of influence within the Bahujan and Other Backward Class (OBC) community. Many popular leaders including Sambhaji Raje, Amit Shah, Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, Mahadev Jankar, Eknath Khadse, Ram Shinde, and various monk-saints, addressed the rally. Each year, hundreds of thousands of devotees and supporters participate in this rally showing their enthusiasm and dedication.
  • She served in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet, specifically in the departments of Rural Development and Women and Child Development. She is known for her involvement in the Sugar Factory and Banking sectors, earning her the title of a ‘businesswoman.’

    Pankaja Munde helping women when she worked in the departments of Rural Development and Women and Child Development

    Pankaja Munde helping women when she worked in the departments of Rural Development and Women and Child Development

  • In 2012, she held the position of president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP in Maharashtra.
  • Before the 2014 Maharashtra assembly elections, the Maharashtra BJP organized a two-week campaign called the “Punha Sangharsh Yatra.” The Yatra was inspired by a similar yatra undertaken by her father in 1995, which led to the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance coming to power in the state. She started the 14-day yatra on 27 August 2014. Prominent politicians such as Amit Shah, Smriti Irani, and Rajiv Pratap Rudy attended the yatra. During the yatra, she covered 79 assembly constituencies, conducting around 600 rallies and travelling a distance of 3500 km on the roads. The “Punha Sangharsh Yatra” received a tremendous response from supporters. At one rally, her supporters even expressed their desire for her to become the chief minister but clarified that she did not plan for the position of chief ministerial candidate. In the rally, Amit Shah said that if the party won the elections, he planned on making Gopinath the Chief Minister candidate. During the yatra, she expressed her intention to play a significant role in ensuring that the BJP comes to power. Throughout her tour and election campaigns, people urged her to take her father’s place, however, she consistently stated that she preferred to be a kingmaker rather than a king. The purpose of her yatra was to have a BJP government in the state and support appointing a Chief Minister from the party.

    Pankaja Munde during 'Punha Sangharsh Yatra' in 2014

    Pankaja Munde during ‘Punha Sangharsh Yatra’ in 2014

  • When her father passed away in June 2014, she performed the last rites. She has authored a photobiography of her father, titled Lokneta Gopinath Munde. She is recognized for organizing a memorial for her late father and senior BJP leader, Gopinath Munde, in Parli, Beed district. The memorial, known as Gopinath Gad or the “tomb of father by daughter,” features a 20-foot tall statue of Gopinath Munde. The construction of the memorial began after his demise in a road accident in 2014. It is situated within the premises of the Vaidyanath Cooperative Sugar Mill. The inauguration of the memorial was done by leaders like Amit Shah and Devendra Fadnavis. The Gopinath Gad Prathisthan led to various social activities including drought relief, skill development programs, educational scholarships, and other initiatives. The Government of India paid tribute to Gopinath Munde by unveiling a special postal cover on his seventh death anniversary. The inauguration of the postal cover took place in the presence of BJP National President JP Nadda and Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Her father played a crucial role in expanding the party’s outreach to Dalits and marginalized sections of society in Maharashtra.

    Pankaja Munde addressing the public on the death anniversary of her father

    Pankaja Munde addressing the public on the death anniversary of her father

  • In 2014, when she was the Cabinet Minister, she was assigned to the Ministry of Rural Development, Women, and Child Welfare. When she was serving in the Ministry of Rural Development, Women, and Child Welfare, she was alleged of buying nutritional food for children in state-run schools at inflated rates but was given a clean chit later by Fadnavis.
  • In 2016, she launched a child helpline mobile app ‘CHIRAG’ to protect the rights of children and fight against child abuse.
  • In 2016, she was accused by the Aam Aadmi Party of using a vehicle with a red beacon that was neither registered in Maharashtra nor any tax was paid on it. AAP leader, Preeti Sharma Menon in a release said that Pankaja used a Range Rover with license plate DL 12 CD 1212, with a red beacon. It was registered in Delhi under the name of Radico NV Distilleries, which was an Aurangabad-based company. The AAP wrote to Delhi Transport Ministry and got to know that there was no application filed for a no objection certificate (NOC) for transferring the vehicle to Maharashtra. In a statement, AAP said that if a common man would have done the same thing, strict action would be taken against them, but if a minister is not paying taxes, the government will not take any action. [9]Money Life
  • In 2017, she announced that affordable sanitary pads would be provided to school-going girls. The pads would be provided by local Self Help Groups (SHGs) at a cost of Rs. 5 per pack. The decision came after different segments of society demanded to reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) applied to sanitary napkins. She also worked on promoting menstrual hygiene and addressing the needs of young girls in schools.
  • In 2019, she removed the name of the BJP from her Twitter biography. A day before doing it, she took to Facebook and talked about the ‘changed political scenario’ in Maharashtra. In a Facebook post, she wrote,

    Looking at the changed political scenario in state, there is a need to think and decide the way ahead. I need time for some 8 to 10 days to communicate with myself. Our future journey need to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes.”

  • In 2019, a US-based Indian cyber expert, Syed Shuja claimed that Gopinath Munde, Pankaja’s father was murdered. She said that she did not want to sensationalize the issue. She had asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for a CBI enquiry after which it was found out that he died in a car accident. Syed also claimed that the EVMs in the 2014 elections were hacked. He said that Gopinath was aware of EVM hacking in the elections but did not have any proof of it.
  • In 2022, her name was not on the list of candidates for the Maharashtra Legislative Council. After the announcement, there were no comments from Pankaja but Fadnavis said that Pankaja was a senior leader and was capable of every post. Chandrakant Patil also talked about it and said that if her name was not on this list, the BJP’s senior leaders must have some other role for her in their minds.
  • In 2022, she won the Nagar panchayat election in the Beed district. The BJP won seats from all four Nagar Panchayats. Under her leadership, the party became the leading party by winning the maximum number of seats.
  • In 2023, the Shiv Sena leader, Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray offered Pankaja to join his party on allegations of her being ‘upset’ with the State BJP leadership. Soon after the statement given by him, BJP State President Chandrashekhar Bawankule talked about this and said that some parties were spreading rumours about her loyalty towards the party. In the statement, he added,

    The BJP is in Pankaja Munde’s blood. She will not even think of deserting the party. Maharashtra has seen her leadership. We [the BJP] fully stand by her. She has been given responsibility at the central level. So, those people spreading rumours about her loyalty should desist from such utterances.”

  • In 2023, her sister Pritam Munde came in support of the wrestlers who were protesting for an investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers by BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh during his tenure as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India. In a statement, she said,

    It could be any government or any party. I believe that if a movement of this level is going unnoticed, it isn’t fair. It should not go unnoticed, necessary attention should be paid to it. Even though I am a part of this government, one has to accept that the way we should have communicated with the wrestlers has not happened.”

    After this, Pankaja also talked about the issue and said that she belonged to the BJP but the party did not belong to them.

  • In 2023, it was reported that she was planning to change her constituency from the Parli in Beed district to the Pathardi constituency in Ahmednagar district.
  • She was featured on the cover of ‘Savvy’ magazine.

    Pankaja Munde on the feature of the 'Savvy' magazine

    Pankaja Munde on the feature of the ‘Savvy’ magazine