“I have been an honest worker of the party (BJP), I have worked for the party. And I am distressed at allegations against me. I will speak on 12 December now, wouldn’t want to say more right now,” Pankaja Munde said on Tuesday, 3 December, amid the flutter caused after she removed her party’s name from her Twitter bio.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pankaja paid tributes to India’s first president Rajendra Prasad on his birth anniversary on her Facebook page while posting an image of ‘lotus’ (BJP symbol) along with it, according to PTI. The ‘About’ section of her Facebook account also mentioned BJP as her political affiliation.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil on Monday, 2 December, said she was not leaving the party. Patil also dismissed reports which claimed that Pankaja may quit the BJP.
Pankaja’s social media post on her “future journey” in view of the changed political scenario in Maharashtra created quite the flutter on social media on Sunday.
“The BJP leaders are in touch with Pankaja Munde. She is introspecting after her defeat but it does not mean she is leaving the BJP,” Patil told reporters.
He also refuted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s claim that many leaders were keen on joining the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
“The accidental government that has come up in Maharashtra is spreading such baseless news. She may be having good family relations with Thackerays but it does not mean she is joining the Sena,” Patil said.
‘Need Time to Think and Decide the Way Ahead’
Pankaja, who had served as a minister in the erstwhile BJP-led Maharashtra government, has also invited her followers to Gopinathgad on 12 December, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of her late father Gopinath Munde, a BJP stalwart.
Gopinathgad is a memorial of Gopinath Munde in Beed district.
“Looking at the changed political scenario in state, there is a need to think and decide the way ahead. I need time for some 8-10 days to communicate with myself. Our future journey needs to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes,” Pankaja said in her social media post.
“What to do next? Which path to be taken? What can we give to people? What is our strength? What are expectations of people? I will think about all these aspects and come before you on 12 December,” Pankaja wrote in her post in Marathi.
In the Assembly elections held on 21 October, Pankaja lost to her cousin and NCP rival Dhananjay Munde in a bitter contest from Parli seat in Beed district. Pankaja wrote that she had accepted her defeat in the polls and moved on.
“I had attended the meetings of the party (BJP),” the former Parli MLA wrote.
Will Continue Her Work to Make BJP Stronger: Shirish Boralkar
Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Shirish Boralkar, meanwhile, told PTI on Sunday that Pankaja will continue her work to make the BJP stronger in the state.
“I have read the Facebook post of Pankaja Munde. This post nowhere conveys that Pankaja is not happy with the BJP. She attended the core committee meetings of the BJP. She is a daughter of Gopinath Munde who had contributed immensely in building the BJP in the state,” he said.Shirish Boralkar
Boralkar said Pankaja is with the BJP. Pankaja could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Maharashtra politics witnessed many a twists and turns after the Assembly poll results were declared on 24 October. Scripting a new political chapter in the state, the Shiv Sena ditched its old ally BJP, which had won maximum 105 seats, and joined hands with former rivals NCP and Congress to form a Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray took oath of the new MVA government on Thursday. The alliance government won the floor test on Saturday comfortably with the support of 169 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly.
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