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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Day after post on future plans, Pankaja Munde removes BJP from Twitter bio

Through an emotional Facebook post, Pankaja said that after her defeat in the recently held Maharashtra Assembly polls, she had received several calls and messages from her supporters to meet, but could not do so because of the situation in the state.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2019 12:10 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Former minister and BJP leader Pankaja Munde has said that in the changed political scenario, the future course of action needs to be decided.
Former minister and BJP leader Pankaja Munde has said that in the changed political scenario, the future course of action needs to be decided.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
         

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pankaja Munde, who is upset post her defeat in assembly polls to her cousin and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Dhananjay Munde, in a Facebook post on Sunday indicated that she would announce her future career plan on December 12.

She has also removed BJP from her Twitter and Facebook profile. In the Facebook profile, she calls herself a public figure.

Her father late BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s birth anniversary falls on December 12 and she plans to hold a rally at his memorial in Beed district on that day.

Pankaja Mude’s post has given rise to speculations that she might quit the BJP. However, sources close to her said that there’s no plan to quit the party.

“The public meeting is a way to reach out to her constituency and followers. There is unrest among them because of her defeat. There is also a feeling that her defeat was engineered and she wants to address that and talk about her future. There is no plan to quit the BJP,” said an aide of Munde, who didn’t wish to be identified.

The Facebook post said that after her defeat she had been inundated by calls and appeals from followers but she needed some time to introspect and decide what to do next.

The post addressed to her followers says: “Immediately after the election results were announced, I spoke to the media and accepted it. I also took the responsibility of the defeat and told everyone not to blame anyone. I also attended core committee meetings of the BJP.”

“I need some time with myself. What to do next? What path should I follow now? What can I give my people? What is my strength? What do people expect of me?... I will think about all this and come before you on December 12,” the Facebook post further said.

Pankaja Munde is a prominent other backward class (OBC) leader in Maharashtra and had inherited her father’s political constituency. She has a considerable following among the Vanjaris, an OBC community that is eligible for separate reservation under Nomadic Tribes category in Maharashtra.

Pankaja Munde and her cousin were involved in a war of words during the Maharashtra poll campaign. Dhananjay had joined the NCP alleging that his uncle was promoting his daughter instead of him.

Pankaja contested assembly polls from the family seat of Parli after Munde contested Lok Sabha seat in 2009.

Dhananjay and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have been on good terms, first as BJP colleagues and in the last five years in their roles as the Leader of Opposition in the Council and CM.

A section of Pankaja’s supporters claims that Fadnavis has always supported Dhananjay at the cost of his cabinet colleague.

The public meeting on December 12 is seen as Pankaja’s showing her strength.