Poonam Mahajan
Poonam Mahajan
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
16 May 2014 [1]
Preceded byPriya Dutt
ConstituencyMumbai North Central
Former National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha
In office
16 December 2016 – 26 September 2020
Preceded byAnurag Thakur
Succeeded byTejasvi Surya
Personal details
Born (1980-12-09) 9 December 1980 (age 41)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)Anand Rao
ChildrenAadya Rao
Avika Rao
Parent(s)Pramod Mahajan (father, deceased)
Rekha Mahajan (mother)
Residence(s)Mumbai
OccupationPolitician
Websitepoonammahajan.in

Poonam Mahajan[2] (Marathi: पूनम महाजन, born 9 December 1980) is an Indian politician who serves as the Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Mumbai North Central, Constituency, Maharashtra. She is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).[3] She has served as the National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP, from December 2016 to September 2020.[4] Mahajan was the President of the Basketball Federation of India, the first female to hold this position.[5] In addition, she currently serves as Chair of the Maharashtra State Animal Welfare Board.[6]

Early life

Mahajan was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) to mother, Rekha Mahajan and father, the veteran BJP leader, Pramod Mahajan, who died in 2006. She is the second child of her parents, having an elder brother, Rahul Mahajan.[7]

She became actively involved in politics from 2006.[8]

Career

Political

After her father's death, Poonam Mahajan formally entered politics on 30 October 2006 by becoming a primary member of the BJP at the age of 26.[9] In April of the following year, she was appointed as the General Secretary for Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Maharashtra unit.

In 2009, Mahajan contested her first election[10] and lost the Assembly Elections from Ghatkopar against Ram Kadam of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.[11] Following this defeat, she continued working with the party in her organisational capacity and was appointed the National Vice President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, in 2010.[12]

Prior to the general elections in 2014, with an eye on strengthening the organisation, Mahajan was appointed as the National Secretary of the BJP in 2013.[13] In the following year, she was given a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North Central,[14] which was considered to be a stronghold of the Congress.[15] The seat had never been won by the BJP since independence. Mahajan rose to national prominence by winning against two-time Lok Sabha member, incumbent MP, Priya Dutt, by a margin of 1.86 lakh votes.

Given her performance in Parliament and her appeal amongst youth, in 2016 she took a national leadership position in BJP organisation as the National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP.[16][17][18][19]

In 2019, Mahajan was given the ticket to contest from Mumbai North Central once again,[20] which she won comfortably, beating her opponent Priya Dutt by a margin of 1.30 lakh votes.[18][19]

Non political

Animal welfare and environment protection

An avid animal lover, Mahajan has always been at the forefront of resolving all issues related to animal rights and welfare. She has also been an active contributor to issues related to environmental conservation and protection.[21]

Mahajan also serves as a patron and mentor to Swachhalay,[22] a youth-driven non-profit organisation working to support PM Shri Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SWB).[23] In 2016, Mahajan co-founded Mumbai Youth Forum,[24] a youth-led non-profit that seeks to encourage greater collaboration between young people and elected representatives/policymakers, through the creation of a platform with the aim of promoting democratic values and inclusion.[25]

Global Citizen Festival India

Mahajan played a key role in bringing the Global Citizen Festival to India,[26] which was headlined by Coldplay and Jay-Z and was held at MMRDA Grounds, BKC in her constituency.[27] This charity concert was the largest entertainment event ever held in India with over 80,000+ people[28] in attendance. Over INR 43 crores were raised as commitments from government, corporations, social influencers and development partners towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which special emphasis on providing quality education, enabling gender equality, ending open defecation and providing clean drinking water to the people of India.[29] These commitments are set to impact the lives of over 51.6 crore citizens.[30]

Elephant Parade India

Mahajan also served as the Parade Ambassador for the Elephant Parade of India, India's largest public exhibition.[31] 101 five-foot elephants painted by celebrated artists were on display at the Gateway of India.[32] Elephant Family along with the Wildlife Trust of India, through this parade, seeks to raise funds for the creation of 101 safe corridors for elephants. The Parade was supported by Royal Patrons, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.[33]

She has also worked with the non-profit Kranti to provide quality education and a better life to the children of sex workers.[34][35]

2019 Campaign

Social media campaigning

Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mahajan ran one of the most innovative social media political campaigns in the country. Her team included many first time voters from across the country which were brought on board through a volunteer network campaign she launched on Instagram. According to Mid-Day, she received over 3,000 applications from across the nation within a day, with many young people applying to volunteer their time for her campaign. Under the hashtag #PoonamPhirSe, Mahajan tried to woo the young first time voters of her constituency by launching innovative campaigns like #AskPoonam on Instagram, where followers asked her everything from why slums near Mumbai airport are not a concern for her to how she juggles her role as a mother of two with that of being an MP.[36] Her ‘young’ war room filled with first time voters received a lot of media coverage during election season. The young team launched ‘millennial’ merchandise, fusing pop culture with modern-day politics, to attract young first-time voters in Mumbai. T-shirts and other paraphernalia like pop sockets were distributed with printed content with millennial cultural references from sources like Game of thrones, Harry Potter and Star Wars.[37][38][39]

First-time voter campaigns

Under her leadership as the President of BJYM, her team launched 17 campaigns to attract young first-time voters from across the country.[40] The campaigns ranged from online initiatives like a national Volunteer Network and #PehlaVoteModiKo pledge campaign to offline initiatives like Vijay Sankalp Bike Rally and Campus Ambassador Programme.[41][42]

Modi rally in Mumbai

PM Narendra Modi addressed a mega rally two days before her election, organised in Bandra Kurla Complex in her constituency, Mumbai North Central.[43][44]

Tenure (2014-2019)

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme

Mahajan is one of the few Parliamentarians in the country who has optimally utilized 100% of her MPLAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) fund. According to her website, the funds were used for building 1,428 public toilets, community halls, paver blocks in societies, indoor and open gymnasiums, individual household latrines in slums, temples, beautification of gardens, among other initiatives.[45][46]

Private member's bills

She introduced a number of private member's bills for the benefit of women, children, sex-workers, senior citizens and animals during her tenure from 2014 to 2019.[45] Some of the bills introduced by her are as follows:[47][48][45]

Committee assignments

Positions held

Within BJP

Legislative

Others

Personal life

Mahajan is married to Anand Rao, an industrialist from Hyderabad. They have two children; a son, Aadya Rao, and a daughter, Avika Rao.[59] Mahajan is also a trained commercial pilot.[60]

References

  1. ^ "Lok Sabha elections 2019:Once a political novice, BJP's Poonam Mahajan has grown steadily | people". Hindustan Times. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Poonam Mahajan becomes first women president of Basketball Federation of India". DNA India. 28 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Maharashtra animal welfare board re-constituted | Nagpur News - Times of India".
  7. ^ "Poonam Mahajan: Unseen family photos of Pramod Mahajan's daughter - Mumbai guide". Mid-day.com. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ "From 2009 Assembly defeat to BJP's youth wing president: Poonam Mahajan has come a long way | mumbai news". Hindustan Times. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  9. ^ "BJP candidate Poonam Mahajan steps up poll campaign; visits Church, Temple, Dargah and Gurudwara in Mumbai". Mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Poonam Mahajan gets BJP ticket - Latest Headlines News". Indiatoday.in. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  11. ^ ""MNS wave" led to my defeat: Poonam Mahajan". The Hindu. 29 October 2009.
  12. ^ PTI (12 August 2010). "Poonam Mahajan becomes BJP youth wing vice-president | India News - Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  13. ^ Kiran Tare (28 December 2013). "Poonam Mahajan may fight ls polls from Mumbai Northeast". Sunday-guardian.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Elections 2014: BJP gives Lok Sabha ticket to Poonam Mahajan - news". Mid-day.com. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  15. ^ Samiya Latief (23 April 2014). "10 candidates to look out for in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha Elections | Election 2014 News". India.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Poonam Mahajan to head BJYM". The Hindu. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Poonam Mahajan replaces Anurag Thakur as new BJYM President - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Mumbai North-Central Election Results: Poonam Mahajan wins - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  19. ^ a b Mahale, Ajeet (24 May 2019). "BJP-Sena repeats sweep in city". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  20. ^ Mirror Online (21 March 2019). "lok sabha polls in mumbai: It will be Poonam Mahajan vs Priya Dutt again; Dr Sujay Vikhe Patil to contest from Ahmednagar". Mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  21. ^ "We're excited to have Poonam Mahajan at... - India Conference 2019". Facebook. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  22. ^ "About us - swachhalay". Swachhalay.weebly.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Our aims - swachhalay". Swachhalay.weebly.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  24. ^ "About Me – Poonam Mahajan". Poonammahajan.in. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  25. ^ NRAI, Team. "Young entrepreneurs connect with the Maharashtra State Government – NRAI". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Global Citizen Just Came Together to Make India a Better Place". Global Citizen. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Coldplay-led Global Citizen Festival kicks off in Mumbai; fans unfazed by last-minute drama- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Global Citizen Festival: PM Narendra Modi addresses 80,000 young 'global citizens'". 19 November 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  29. ^ "300 Million Lives Already Impacted 18 Months on From Global Citizen Festival India". Global Citizen. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  30. ^ "How We Know That 280M Lives Have Already Been Impacted Since Global Citizen Festival India 2016". Global Citizen. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Street art exhibition 'Elephant Parade' signs up BJP MP Poonam Mahajan as ambassador". Everything Experiential. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  32. ^ IANS (26 February 2018). "101 designed elephants at first Elephant Parade India". Business Standard India. Retrieved 9 June 2019 – via Business Standard.
  33. ^ "Prince Charles, wife attend preview of Elephant Parade India". Uniindia.com. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Poonam Mahajan, MP from Mumbai - North Central at MumbaiVotes.com". mumbaivotes.com. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  35. ^ [2][dead link]
  36. ^ Deshpande, Tanvi (29 March 2019). "Poonam Mahajan banking on the youth to win polls". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 June 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  37. ^ "Elections 2019: Poonam Mahajan, Priya Dutt take to social media to connect to millennial voters". mid-day. 7 April 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  38. ^ "Poll candidates fight it out on social media". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  39. ^ "Parties deploy social media warriors to target 18 to 35 age group via Instagram and Snapchat". 11 April 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  40. ^ "BJP youth wing launches its campaign for party's Lok Sabha poll win". The Economic Times. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  41. ^ IANS (18 February 2019). "BJYM to launch 'NaMo Yuva connect' to garner youth vote". Business Standard India. Retrieved 9 June 2019 – via Business Standard.
  42. ^ "Lok Sabha polls: BJYM to launch online volunteer programme on Jan 17". Hindustantimes.com/. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  43. ^ "Photos: PM Narendra Modi rally at MMRDA grounds in BKC". mid-day. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  44. ^ "PM Narendra Modi rally in BKC Live Updates: PM Modi concludes his speech". www.mid-day.com. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  45. ^ a b c "Lok Sabha election 2019: Report card - how Mumbai's MPs have fared". The Hindu. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  46. ^ "Toilets, drainage: how Mumbai MPs spent MPLAD funds". 15 March 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Poonam Mahajan Alias Poonam Vajendla Rao". PRSIndia. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  48. ^ "Private Member Bills – POONAM MAHAJAN". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  49. ^ a b c National Informatics Centre (NIC). "Members Bioprofile: Mahajan, Smt. Poonam Pramod". loksabhaph.nic.in. Members, Seventeenth Lok Sabha: Lok Sabha Secretariat - Software Unit, Computer (HW & SW) Management Branch. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  50. ^ "Poonam Mahajan Blog". Economic Times Blog.
  51. ^ "Mumbai IFSC to complement Gujarat's GiftCity: Mahajan".
  52. ^ "Board of Governors | NIFT".
  53. ^ "Poonam Mahajan becomes first lady to head Maharashtra basketball - Times of India".
  54. ^ FICCI (1 August 2017). "India-Israel has always had a brotherly connection: @poonam_mahajan Hon'ble MP & Chair, India-Israel Forum of Parliamentarianspic.twitter.com/CHUqUQRYAH". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  55. ^ "Press release" (PDF). ficci.in. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  56. ^ "Young entrepreneurs connect with the Maharashtra State Government – NRAI".
  57. ^ "About us".
  58. ^ "Press Releases".
  59. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  60. ^ "From 2009 Assembly defeat to BJP's youth wing president: Poonam Mahajan has come a long way". 22 December 2016.

Further reading