Pankaja Munde: Won't quit party that my father helped expand

Updated: Dec 13, 2019, 07:27 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Pankaja Munde, along with BJP veteran Eknath Khade express their displeasure with certain leaders in the party, including ex-CM Fadnavis at an event in Parli

Pankaja Munde
Pankaja Munde

Former BJP minister Pankaja Munde on Thursday launched a frontal attack on her detractors in the party. Her primary target was former CM Devendra Fadnavis, who she did not name directly, but made several references hinting at it. Another party leader, Eknath Khadse, who is equally irked because of his daughter's defeat in the Vidhan Sabha polls, alleged that some BJP leaders had conspired to ensure that his daughter Rohini and Munde lost, adding that a situation was being created to force his exit from the party.

Munde said she wouldn't quit the party that her father had helped expand, but added that the party was free to take a decision in her regard. "The party that was released by her father and other senior leaders of the past from the clutches of a handful of people, was made a party of the masses. Sadly, a handful of people control the party again," she said.

The speeches were made in the presence of state BJP president Chandrakant Patil, who advised the leaders that they shouldn't hold any grudges against the party even if they were upset with certain leaders in the BJP. "As there are a few who have committed mistakes, there is no point in being angry with the party," said Patil, suggesting that the speakers should use measured language while expressing their sentiments. The occasion was Pankaja's father the late Gopinath Munde's birth anniversary celebration at Gopinath Gad in Parli.

Revolt in open
Munde declared that she was no longer a member of the party's core committee which took policy decisions. She said she would open an office of Gopinath Munde Foundation in Mumbai next month which would be a non-BJP platform that would make efforts to unite people from all castes, creeds and religions. The first movement that she has planned is a statewide tour from January 26.

"A party is not owned by any particular person. When I posted something on Facebook, news reports that I would quit the party were planted. But I tell you all today that I'm not quitting the party. However, if the party wants me out, then it can decide on that," she said. Munde also took a swipe at Fadnavis's statement that he would bounce back like the sea's high tide and hence his opponents should think twice before making the seashore their homes.

Khadse said the leaders who the seniors groomed were now harassing the mentors. "It's shocking for me that Pankaja lost in Gopinath Munde's constituency. Her defeat was engineered," he said. "The current affairs of BJP are not good. We cannot take it anymore. Pankaja would not quit the party, but I'm not sure about myself because I feel suffocated in the BJP. Do they want me to quit? This is not appropriate for the party." He said late Munde made Fadnavis state BJP president. "I allotted land for Mundeji's memorial but nothing moved in the last five years," he said.

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