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Disappointed, not one woman minister in Cabinet, says Pankaja

“I am surprised there is no woman minister in the Cabinet,” she said. The statement comes after nine men each from BJP and the Eknath Shinde Sena were sworn as ministers earlier this week.

pankaja munde, pankaja munde news, maharashtra cabinet, no woman minister, pankaja munde maharashtra cabinet, indian expressOn Thursday, Munde had said that she may not have been “qualified enough” to get a berth in the newly expanded Maharashtra Cabinet. (Express Photo/File)

Pankaja Munde, the BJP national secretary and in charge of Madhya Pradesh, on Saturday expressed disappointment over the absence of a woman minister in the Maharashtra Cabinet.

Speaking to mediapersons at Parli in Beed, Munde said, “I have not played any role in the formation of this government… So, I will not take false credit.”

“I am surprised there is no woman minister in the Cabinet,” she added. The statement comes after nine men each from BJP and the Eknath Shinde Sena were sworn as ministers earlier this week.

On Thursday, Munde had said that she may not have been “qualified enough” to get a berth in the newly expanded Maharashtra Cabinet. “I think it is probably because they have better candidates. I may not be fulfilling the eligibility criteria,” she had told mediapersons.

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Addressing a Tiranga rally in Parli on Saturday, Munde expressed her displeasure over senior BJP leaders telling her to stick to her home constituency Parli. “Whenever I speak to leaders, they say, ‘Parli dekho, bahut kathin hain (Focus on Parli… it is a very difficult seat)’,” she said.

“All this because of my defeat from Parli (in the 2019 Assembly polls). Whether it was because of my shortcomings or lack of developmental works or something else… but for one mistake, I have to listen to all this.”

She had lost her seat to her rival candidate from the NCP and cousin Dhananjay Munde in the 2019 Assembly elections.
Alleging that false charges had been leveled against her, Munde said, “Yet, look at the huge crowd at the rally. They people have always stood by me despite efforts made to create difficulties at every level. Even when I was a minister, false charges were levelled against me.”

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Senior BJP leaders, however, underplayed Munde’s comments. National BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde said, “Munde is the national secretary in charge of a big state like Madhya Pradesh… In comparison, I was given a much smaller state of Haryana. So, it shows our leaders consider her to be able.”

Cabinet minister Girish Mahajan added, “Munde’s eligibility was never in question. She always got important roles in the party. She may land bigger roles in the organisation.”

First published on: 14-08-2022 at 00:37 IST
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