Pankaja not quitting, says BJP

Pankaja Munde

Pankaja Munde  

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has denied reports that senior leader and former Cabinet Minister Pankaja Gopinath Munde was quitting the party to join the Shiv Sena.

In an emotional post on Facebook last Sunday, Ms. Munde had addressed party cadre asking them to be present at father Gopinath Munde’s Samadhi on December 12, which will be the 70th birth anniversary of the former party leader.

The BJP leader said she is likely to take a call on her future by then, and will declare it to the supporters the same day at Gopinath Gadh. “Mawale yetil he nakki (I expect all the foot soldiers of Chhatrapati Shivaji to turn up that day),” she concluded the post.

She also changed the Twitter bio on one of her two handles, removing the party reference from it completely. “There is no truth in these reports and rumours; past few days we are seeing a lot of rumours being spread since this government of the Congress, Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party has come to power with an agenda of keeping the BJP out of power,” State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said.

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut has been making claims that following the formation of the three-party alliance several BJP leaders were in touch with the Sena.

“The BJP should not think only they can poach, we too have several of their leaders calling us,” Mr. Raut had said.

Ms. Munde’s second twitter handle @PankajaMunde maintained she was affiliated to the BJP but removal of party reference from the official handle had set the rumour mills rolling, senior party leaders said.

In the Facebook post on December 1, Ms. Munde had said she wanted time to think about her future since a question had been popping in her mind after the poll results in which she had faced a defeat at the hands of NCP leader and cousin Dhananjay.

“I want some time off things to clear my thoughts. After the election defeat I came forward and accepted the defeat. But more than me the cadre had felt demoralised and wanted to meet,” she said in the post.

Mr. Patil said the post was only an invitation for supporters to come to her father’s birth anniversary. “It is a fact the party has taken a grim view of her defeat, especially when both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah had attended a rally in Parli, her constituency. We are closely watching the developments,” said a former BJP Minister.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 5:35:22 PM |

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