Updated: July 9, 2021 7:41:32 pm
The BJP’s decision to induct Rajya Sabha MP Bhagwat Karad as Minister of State in the Union Cabinet, instead of late leader Gopinath Munde’s daughter and two-time MP Pritam Munde, was a plan to finish off the political career of her sister and former Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde, the Shiv Sena alleged Friday.
The party’s mouthpiece, Saamana, in an editorial said Karad grew up in the shadow of late Gopinath Munde, who had transformed the BJP in Maharashtra from a largely upper-caste party to a party with a base among OBCs and other castes. But without considering Pritam Munde, the BJP’s Beed MP, Karad was picked up by the party for the ministerial berth, it said.
“This is a ploy to completely finish the political career of Pankaja Munde… There is scope to doubt whether it has been done to divide the Vanjara community (to which Munde and Karad belong) and teach Pankaja Munde a lesson,” the editorial said.
Karad’s induction has sparked speculation that the Munde sisters are upset for preferring Karad over Pritam while both hail from the vanjara community, which is one of the prominent groups in OBC. However, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis has dismissed the reports of the Munde sisters being unhappy.
The Sena editorial further said giving ministerial berths to Kapil Patil and Bharati Pawar from Maharashtra was like rubbing salt on the wounds of the loyal BJP workers from the state. Patil and Pawar had left the NCP a few years ago and joined the BJP, but have become the ministers now. This is the real shock, it remarked.
Narayan Rane, who has also found a place in the new Cabinet, was earlier with Shiv Sena and Congress, the editorial added.
Referring to the newly created ‘Ministry of Cooperation’ by the Centre, the editorial said cooperation is a state subject but now the accusations are being levelled that the Centre is encroaching on it.
“This should not happen and should not lead to attacking the federal structure,” it added.
Except for Rajnath Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, all other ministers are new, the Sena said. The new cabinet lacks the essence of the BJP or the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), it added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.