Pankaja Munde is the daughter of late Gopinath Munde, the BJP stalwart who forged the grand alliance of six political parties in Maharashtra including BJP and Shiv Sena. Though the 25-year alliance has come to an end and Gopinath Munde has passed away untimely due to an accident, his legacy is carried forward by his daughter Pankaja. She is not only looking forward to win the October 15 election from Parli constituency with thumping majority (Shiv Sena has not fielded any candidate against her) but is also looking forward to some big role, if BJP assumes power in the Maharashtra Assembly. Her OBC status and clean image are believed to give her the extra needed push for being entrusted with some crucial responsibility. She did an extensive tour of her constituency, interacting with the masses to secure her win.
Personal Life of Pankaja Munde
Besides being the proud daughter of Gopinath Munde and Pradnya Munde, Pankaja Munde-Palwe is also niece of another late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan. She was born on July 26, 1979 in Parli. Pankaja has two siblings Yashashari and Preetam (who is contesting Beed Lok Sabha constituency after the untimely death of her father in a road accident). Pankaja Munde is married to a doctor-turned industrialist Amit Palwe and the couple is blessed with a son named Aryaman.
Pankaja is a science graduate and has also completed her MBA. Before getting elected as MLA from Parli constituency, she used to be busy fulfilling her responsibilities as head of an NGO. She has been part of many NGO activities and numerous big social projects done in the district of Beed.
It is learnt that she wrote a computer program to help her father run a sugar factory in a more efficient way. In Pune, she also had managed a software company of her own. She used to have a passion for writing but her father insisted her to join politics.
Political Career and Activities of Pankaja Munde
The USP of Munde heiress is her down-to-earth image. Mingling with the masses and even having meals with the downtrodden during campaign breaks are some of her other positive traits. She is a good listener and jots down the grievances of women and poor while campaigning. Pankaja’s NGO work has given her first hand insight into the basic and developmental needs of people in Maharashtra, especially in Parli Assembly constituency and Beed Lok Sabha constituency. She’s banking upon the work done by her father in the constituency in the last 25 years to sail through the election smoothly.
Interestingly, she learns from experience. In February 2012 one of her convoy cars was attacked by some people and she escaped the onslaught by a whisker. This made her to launch an application for distressed women. The app is called ‘App Raksha’. When her father Gopinath Munde was feeling politically suffocated, Pankaja stood by his side and also urged the masses for strengthening her father’s hands for ‘getting his way in the inner-party struggle’.
In 2009, she became a Maharashtra Assembly MLA from Parli constituency but caught eyeballs of BJP leadership when she aggressively and extensively campaigned for her father during 2014 Lok Sabha election. Pankaja is also the Maharashtra unit president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.
Some of the political initiatives Pankaja Munde has been part of include strong campaign against female foeticide, work to improve people’s quality of life through implementation of water pipelines, implementation of lab facilities in hospitals for betterment of medical research, encouragement provided to women for participating in many social welfare programs, and many others.