A Facebook post by BJP leader Pankaja Munde, in which she talks about a “changed political scenario (in Maharashtra)” and the need to introspect on a future course of action, has raised eyebrows. In her post Ms Munde asked for “8-10 days to communicate with myself” and said she would return with an answer before December 12, the 60th birth anniversary of her father – late senior BJP leader and Union Minister Gopal Munde. She also invited her supporters to Gopinathgad – a memorial to her father in Beed district of the state – for a service on December 12.
Pankaja Munde, 40, who served as Minister of Rural and Women, Child Development in the previous Maharashtra government, contested the Parli Assembly seat in October’s election. She lost to her cousin, the NCP’s Dhananjay Munde, by more than 30,000 votes.
“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,” Pankaja Munde wrote on Sunday, adding that she had come to terms with her election defeat.
Pankaja Munde and Dhananjay Munde were bitter rivals with tensions peaking shortly before polls; a video surfaced allegedly showing him making objectionable remarks against Ms Munde.
“Our future journey needs to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes. What to do next? Which path to be taken? What can we give to people? What is our strength? What are expectations of people?” she wrote.
“I will think about all these aspects and come before you on December 12,” she said, adding, “I have a lot to speak about”.
The BJP contested October elections with the Sena, emerging as the single-largest with 105 MLAs; the Sena won 56. However, the alliance broke down over power-sharing talks. The BJP’s attempts at government formation were outfoxed by the Shiv Sena, which allied with the NCP and the Congress.
On Sunday reflecting on the BJP’s defeat, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, now Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said “political arithmetic had prevailed over merit”. Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as Chief Minister on Thursday and sailed through a floor test on Saturday.
Ms Munde’s post was promptly followed by Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Shirish Boralkar denying any rifts between the party and its leader. Mr Boralkar told news agency PTI that Ms Munde would work to ensure the BJP returns to power in the state.
“I have read the Facebook post of Pankaja Munde. This post nowhere conveys that she 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.
With input from PTI, ANI
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