Senior Bhartiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde, already in a pickle over his candid remarks of spending Rs8 crore on his elections, may face fresh troubles.
His nephew Dhananjay Munde resigned as BJP legislator and joined the Nationalist Congress Party on Tuesday.
Dhananjay, once a Munde protégé and till recently seen as his political heir, made it clear that he wanted to contest the next assembly elections from Parli constituency against Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde-Palwe.
Dhananjay was unhappy with Munde for denying him a chance to contest assembly elections from Parli in 2009 after the senior BJP leader decided to contest Lok Sabha elections.
He was later made a member of the Legislative Council by the BJP in 2010 but he rebelled against Munde and was hobnobbing with NCP for quite some time.
Dhananjay submitted his resignation to Shivajirao Deshmukh, chairman of the Legislative Council, and announced that he had formally joined the NCP.
Although he said he was ready to shoulder any responsibility given by party chief Sharad Pawar, he is likely to be fielded against his cousin Pankaja from Parli constituency in the 2014 assembly elections.
The NCP has established a strong base in Beed district, Munde’s bastion, over the past few years.
Apart from winning five out of six assembly seats, NCP is in power in all local bodies.
Dhananjay claimed that he and his father Pandit Munde were sidelined by BJP, which led them to distance themselves from the party.
Dhananjay would be NCP’s candidate for the council elections that would take place after his resignation.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis accused NCP leader Ajit Pawar of engineering defections from the saffron party.
“Pawar is wrong if he thinks that he would be able to trouble Gopinath Munde. In Beed, NCP has got all important persons whom BJP made leaders.”
NCP is making a mistake if it thinks that Dhananjay, who betrayed his uncle and BJP, wil work harder for the party, he said.“People still have faith in Gopinath Munde and BJP and we are not scared of any defection,” he said.