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After Sena’s open offer to join, Pankaja Munde says she is not leaving BJP

The offer to her was first made by former Sena minister Arjun Khotkar two days ago. Sena minister Gulabrao Patil had also made a similar offer to her.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune | October 25, 2020 12:48:50 am
Knives out against Fadnavis as BJP rebels unite at Gopinath GadMunde has reportedly been upset after her defeat from Parli in last year's assembly elections, and she had alleged that some party leaders were instrumental in her defeat. (File/PTI)

AFTER Shiv Sena’s ‘open offer’, urging her to join the party, BJP leader Pankaja Munde said she was not going to leave the BJP.

“I don’t know why rumours are being floated about me…. whether I am going to the Shiv Sena or other party… No one should worry about my future. I am quite capable… My party has given me a lot,” she said at a function held at Ambejogai in Beed district on Saturday.

“My party has given me a new responsibility and I have started work with new enthusiasm,” she said at an event to felicitate her, organised by the local BJP unit, on being appointed party national secretary.

The offer to her was first made by former Sena minister Arjun Khotkar two days ago. Sena minister Gulabrao Patil had also made a similar offer to her.

“BJP is paying for what it did for five years. The party weaned away leaders from Congress and NCP by promising them prime positions and ministerial berths… now things are taking a U-turn, leaders are heading towards the three parties of the Maha Vikas Aghadi,” said Khotkar.

Hailing Eknath Khadse’s move to join NCP, Khotkar said, “… If a leader like Pankaja Munde joins Sena, we will welcome her. Our doors are always open for her. As a true Sainik, I made the offer to Pankaja tai to join Sena. If others also intend to join, we will welcome them.”

“She has not rejected our offer. She has in fact thanked us for making the offer, which says it all,” he said.

Soon after Uddhav Thackeray had taken charge as the chief minister in November last year, Khotkar and Munde had met the Sena chief at his residence. In fact, the Sena had reportedly tasked Khotkar with the job of getting Munde to meet the CM. “Pankaja tai shares a very cordial relation with the Thackeray family,” said Khotkar.

Munde has reportedly been upset after her defeat from Parli in last year’s assembly elections, and she had alleged that some party leaders were instrumental in her defeat.

Days later, she had held a massive rally, where Khadse and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil were present. She had refused to invite former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Earlier this week, when Fadnavis visited Beed, Munde was conspicuous by her absence. She, however, joined the former CM in the neighbouring Parbhani district.

BJP leaders said during his visit to flood-hit Marathawada and Western Maharashtra areas, Fadnavis tried to assure those who joined the party before the last assembly elections. He started his tour from Baramati, where he met Ranjit Nimbalkar, who switched to the BJP from Congress, and Jaykumar Gore, who switched from the NCP to BJP.

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