All is not well for senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde. If it was not bad enough that he is caught in a power struggle within his own party, he is now facing revolt within his own family. Days after Munde's nephew Dhananjay defeated Munde's candidate and won the Parli municipal council by fielding his own nominee, Munde's older brother publicly attacked him.
Panditrao, who has been looking after Munde's political and business interests in his hometown Parli in Beed district had refrained from commenting on the feud so far.
The situation blew up after Munde said at a rally in Aurangabad earlier this week that he would wipe out those who had gone against him. "Generally I don't mess with anyone. But if someone does [mess with me], I ensure the person is wiped out. I don't care whether the person is from my family or an outsider," Munde said.
On Thursday, Panditrao took exception to this statement. "A person of his stature should forget about a minor zilla parishad polls incident. He is saying this out of a feeling of revenge. I would like to say that we too are capable of paying back in kind," Panditrao said.
Munde has been miffed with Panditrao and his son Dhananjay ever since they fielded their own candidate against his nominee in the Parli municipal council polls. Munde's candidate lost by a substantial margin, eroding his standing in Parli.
Panditrao's outburst assumes significance as he has single-handedly been looking after Munde's constituency in Beed since 1988 when Munde was made state BJP president and got increasingly involved in state politics. Panditrao also manages Munde's business interests in Beed, including looking after the Vaidyanath Cooperative Sugar Factory and the Vaidyanath Cooperative Bank.