A dynasty is taking shape in the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A pillar was rooted on Saturday when the party announced its Assembly poll ticket in Mumbai, for its slain leader Pramod Mahajan’s daughter, Poonam.
The dynasty could further expand with Poonam’s uncle and BJP national General Secretary Gopinath Munde lobbying hard for his daughter Pankaja and nephew Dhananjay from Parli and Ashti respectively, both in his fiefdom, Marathwada.
Munde wanted his party to field Poonam in the Lok Sabha polls but in vain. A senior BJP leader said Munde’s confidence level had risen after he was made in-charge of party affairs for the Assembly polls, and especially after he managed to get Poonam her due.
The BJP announced the first list of 66 candidates late on Saturday. It will contest 119 seats. The Shiv Sena will contest the rest of the total 288 seats.
Munde was unavailable for comment.
State BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s office said he would be busy in meetings throughout the day. Other BJP leaders refused comment.
But for Poonam, it may not be a cakewalk. She will contest from the newly crafted Ghatkopar (west) constituency where local BJP corporator, Praveen Chheda’s supporters have protested against Poonam’s ‘forced’ candidature.
However, the situation in Parli and Ashti are favorable for the Munde clan. While Pankaja has been working there since her father shifted to national politics after Mahajan’s death, Dhananjay is an office bearer of the party’s student and youth wings.