In yet another jolt to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde, his nephew BJP MLC Dhananjay Munde resigned as legislator on Tuesday to formally join hands with the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party.
Mr. Dhananjay Munde submitted his resignation to Legislative Council chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh at the Vidhan Bhavan here apart from quitting the BJP’s primary membership.
“My father and I have served the BJP for a very long time, but I’ve realised that there is no justice for the scrupulous worker in the BJP despite giving my all for nearly decades,” Mr. Dhananjay Munde told journalists at the NCP office after submitting his resignation. He had three years of tenure left as MLC.
Mr. Gopinath Munde’s older bother and Mr. Dhananjay Munde’s father Pandit Anna, too, sought asylum within the NCP fold in 2012 following a spat with his brother. The uncle and nephew have been rattling sabres since 2009, after Mr. Gopinath Munde poured cold water over the younger Munde’s aspirations by choose his daughter Pankaja over him to contest the Parali constituency in Beed district.
Since the beginning of 2012, Mr. Dhananjay Munde had been working in close concert with the NCP in Beed, queering his uncle’s pitch in the latter’s stronghold and helping the NCP to win a few local elections.
“The NCP has come out on top in the Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections since then,” he said, adding that he had distanced himself from the BJP for the last one-and-a-half year as he had been “consistently sidelined” by its leaders.
He said the NCP had not promised him any position as of yet and that he would be happy to contest in any capacity in whichever election — be it the Beed Lok Sabha seat or the Parli Assembly constituency — his new party leadership chose him to fight in.
Meanwhile, the BJP dismissed his defection.
“He [Mr. Dhananjay Munde] had technically drifted from us since the last one-and-a-half year,” said Maharashtra BJP president Devendra Fadnavis.
He squarely pinned the blame for the defection on Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, holding him responsible for wooing Mr. Dhananjay Munde away from the BJP and stoking the flames of discord within Mr. Gopinath Munde’s family.