Pankaja Munde removes mention of BJP from Twitter bio: Ex-Maharashtra MLA among several party leaders to have voiced dissent
Only days after the Uddhav Thackeray-led government took over the reins in Maharashtra, Pankaja Munde has joined the ranks of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who have expressed their dissatisfaction with the party.
Munde has created a flutter with her social media post on her “future journey” in view of the changing political scenario in Maharashtra. She has also removed her party’s name from her Twitter bio. On Tuesday, however, she posted an image of a lotus, the BJP’s party symbol, along with a message paying tribute to the country’s first president Rajendra Prasad.
As of now, she has asserted, “I am not leaving the party. Defection is not in my blood.”
However, in her Facebook post on Sunday, she invited her followers to Gopinathgad on 12 December on the occasion of her late father’s birth anniversary. Gopinathgad is a memorial of Gopinath Munde in Beed. Munde’s social media post was marked by its ambiguity.
“Looking at the changed political scenario in the state, there is a need to think and decide the way ahead. I need time for some 8-10 days to communicate with myself. Our future journey needs to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes,” she wrote in her Facebook post in Marathi.
“What to do next? Which path to be taken? What can we give to the people? What is our strength? What are the expectations of the people? I will think about all these aspects and come before you on 12 December,” she posted.
Pankaja had lost the Parli seat in Beed district to her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the 21 October Assembly election.
Her social media post comes only days after senior BJP leaders Eknath Khadse and Babanrao Pachpute criticised the approach of the BJP towards the unfolding situation in Maharashtra. Khadse was even quoted as saying that he is contemplating whether or not to move to the Shiv Sena.
Yet another recent note of discord in the party was when Anant Kumar Hegde alleged that former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in for 80 hours to prevent misuse of Rs 40,000 crore central funds. Fadnavis himself denied these allegations, saying no decision was taken apart from a grant of Rs 5,380 crore to farmers.
Hegde further added that it took Fadnavis just 15 hours to move the money. All of it was returned to the Central government, he claimed.
The BJP’s ally-turned-rival Shiv Sena was quick to pounce on Hegde’s statement. Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Fadnavis and the BJP were “criminals” of the people of Maharashtra. The party also raised the issue in the Parliament, with Lok Sabha MP Vinayak Raut saying that it was alleged by Hegde that the funds were returned to the Centre by the hastily-formed government led by Fadnavis after the Assembly election.
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