The announcement of candidature of BJP general secretary Gopinath Munde's daughter Pankaja along with that of cousin Poonam Mahajan has met with severe criticism that BJP too is going the Congress way in following dynastic politics.
However, the flak is the last thing on Pankaja's mind as she goes about campaigning for the October 13 Assembly poll from this constituency in Marathwada's hinterland.
A total of three members from the family of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan and brother-in-law Munde are contesting the elections on BJP tickets. Mahajan's daughter Poonam is contesting from Ghatkopar in suburban Mumbai while Madhusudan Kendre, son-in-law of Munde's elder brother, is in fray from Gangakhed in Marathwada region.
Rubbishing allegations of nepotism, Munde said, "Pankaja has worked with me in Parli-Vaijnath for years. She knows the people there and they know her. Why should she not contest?"
Pankaja Munde-Palave, a business management graduate from Seton Hill University, New Jersey, is taking on Congress candidate T P Munde, a professor at the Baijnath college where she studied.
The professor had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly elections from Renapur seat, which Gopinath had won five times. But post-delimitation, the constituency has ceased to exist.