Days after her Twitter spat with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Pankaja Munde, who got back to the city from Singapore, told her supporters that she was not miffed over the loss of her water conservation portfolio in the cabinet reshuffle.
She was addressing her supporters, who had gathered at her official residence at Peddar Road on Friday morning. However, her address and the supporters’ mini show of strength seemed to suggest that all’s not well in the Fadnavis cabinet.
Sources present told HT that Munde had spoken at the insistence of her well-wishers and had said she had never conspired against anyone, played games or stabbed anyone in the back.
This is being construed as a jibe against Fadnavis, who is being seen as someone who ousted his biggest rival from the cabinet, Eknath Khadse.
Munde, a CM aspirant, has also been seen as Fadnavis’ rival in the past but the two have worked together so far, with the latter even defending her during the chikki scam.
“She said she had her father Gopinath Munde’s legacy and would make golden any opportunity that she was given,” a BJP party leader said. “She also said she had worked hard to make the Jal Yukt Shivar scheme successful to make the state drought free and would similarly make her present portfolios popular.”
She also asked her supporters to maintain peace.
Munde met the new water conservation minister Ram Shinde, who had come to meet her at her bungalow and wished him all the best. She said she was glad that someone who was like a brother to her had got the portfolio.
Shinde had refused to take charge of the department after the Twitter controversy erupted and only assumed office on Thursday after Fadnavis ticked him off.