Updated: July 12, 2021 1:45:00 pm
While supporters of BJP national secretary Pankaja Munde and her sister, MP Pritam Munde, have expressed their disappointment at the latter being denied a position in the Union Cabinet during the recent reshuffle, Pankaja Munde said on Friday that she was not upset with the party leadership.
“Pritam was the right candidate for a ministerial berth…she is talented, hardworking, a record holder on election terrain, a young face, a woman, a bahujan face… she has always attended all-party meetings.. However, we are not objecting to the party decision not to pick her….The party might have thought those selected have better quality. It is not just Pritam Munde who was not considered, there are others like Heena Gavit who were also left out,” she said.
“Her name was doing the rounds…the supporters expected her inclusion…They are expressing their disappointment out of love for us…We cannot change their feelings…,” she said.
However, on social media, supporters have held former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis responsible for the “injustice” meted out to the family of late Gopinath Munde, one of the leaders credited for the growth of the BJP in Maharashtra. Some supporters even urged the Munde sisters to consider leaving the BJP.
After the swearing-in ceremony, neither Pankaja nor Pritam had congratulated those Maharashtra leaders who were given ministerial berths.
At the press conference, Pankaja said, “…I have congratulated all those who were given ministerial berths. I am again congratulating all those from across the country who made it to the Cabinet…”.
On Pritam Munde not being considered, Pankaja said, “Pritam was the right candidate for ministerial berth… she is talented, hardworking, a record holder on election terrain, a young face, a woman, a bahujan face.. She has always attended all party meetings… However, we are not objecting to the party decision not to pick her… The party might have thought those selected have better quality. It is not just Pritam Munde who was not considered, there are others like Heena Gavit who were also left out.”
Pankaja said supporters are upset because they wanted Munde’s name in the ministry. “Pritam Munde’s name was doing the rounds… It always happens in our case. The supporters anticipated her inclusion… They are expressing their disappointment out of love for us… We cannot change their feelings…”
Fadnavis had said on Thursday, “It is the Prime Minister and party leadership which decides who will make it to the Union ministry.”
When asked about the anger among Munde supporters, especially in Beed, Jugal Lohiya, city president of BJP, said, “…Those who are angry are politically immature. They should understand that there are certain limitations for the Prime Minister to pick his cabinet. If not now, Pritam Munde will get an opportunity later on.”
Shalinitai Karad, a member of BJP’s state committee, said, “We all were hoping that Pritam Munde…. will get an opportunity. However, she could not make it. But I feel the party might be planning something big for her. We are sure that will happen soon.”
NCP state spokesperson Umesh Patil said, “Dr Bhagwat Karad rose politically because of Gopinath Munde. While he was included in the cabinet, the Munde family, which is behind his rise, was insulted… BJP honours outsiders but insults those who were original BJP leaders.”
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