Voices of dissent heard within Maharashtra BJP over securing posts in opposition benches

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on December 02, 2019 Published on December 02, 2019

After senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse expressed his dissent over BJP’s leadership, former minister and late Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde has hinted that she is unhappy with her current political status.

Pankaja was defeated by her estranged cousin and NCP candidate Dhananjay Munde in Parli Assembly constituency in the October 2019 election. Pankaja’s supporters suspect that BJP leaders facilitated her defeat as she was projecting herself as one of the Chief Ministerial candidates.

In her Facebook post, Pankaja said that she and her followers have to decide about the future journey against the backdrop of political changes in the State. She has appealed her followers to join her on December 12 on the occasion of Gopinath Munde’s 60th birth anniversary.

Amidst rumours that she might join the Shiv Sena, senior Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said that many BJP leaders were willing to join the party.

As her Facebook post created ripples among the BJP cadre, BJP State unit President Chandrakant Patil told the media that BJP leaders have spoken to Pankaja and she was with the party. Patil refuted reports that Pankaja was going to join the Sena.

There are also talks that Pankaja was trying to exert pressure on the BJP leadership to get her a seat in the Legislative Council where she can claim the position of Leader of the Opposition. Political pundits say that if Pankaja quits the BJP, it would prove a major setback to the party which is struggling to set aside its upper caste face. The Munde family commands major chunk of OBC vote bank in the State.

Earlier, Eknath Khadse had said that the BJP leadership kept aside senior leaders who have built the party. He claimed that the party lost about 25 seats because the State leaders were unwilling to work as a team.

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Published on December 02, 2019
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