Friday, July 19, 2024

Pankaja Munde says not quitting BJP, smells ‘plot’ to ‘finish off’ her political career (Ld)

Senior politician and National Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Pankaja Munde, on Friday categorically stated that she is “not quitting the party”, as was widely speculated, but claimed that there’s a plot to finish off her political career.

Speaking to the media at her Mumbai residence, Munde — the daughter of the former Union minister late Gopinath Munde — said that since the past four years, periodic rumours have circulated that she’s disgruntled with the BJP and planning to join some other party.

In the latest such ‘news’, it was reported by a TV channel that she would soon join the Congress — prompting state Congress President Nana Patole on Thursday to even ‘welcome’ her if she decided to do so.

“This is nonsense, I have never expressed any so-called ‘unhappiness’ with the BJP or demanded any posts or said I will go to any other party… Yet every now and then such mischievous news is being spread in the media. This is clearly a conspiracy to finish off my political career,” Munde said.

The 43-year-old leader from Beed district made it clear that she has never met Congress leaders like Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi in her life, as she threatened to slap a libel suit on the concerned TV channel in the matter, questioning the source and veracity of its news.

Hailing from a prominent state political clan, Munde reiterated that she has been with the BJP since the past two decades and will continue to work with it as “backstabbing and betrayal are not in my blood”, while announcing a two-month ‘break’ to tide over the current spate of speculation.

The niece of the former Union minister late Pramod Mahajan, Munde’s younger sister Pritam Munde is a BJP MP from Beed, while her cousin is now with the breakaway Nationalist Congress Party, minister Dhananjay Munde.

“I have worked sincerely keeping the party in view… But the recent goings-on are confusing and I shall take a break and introspect away from all this,” said Munde, a former Rural Development Minister in the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government (2014-2019), and once considered a claimant for the CM’s post.

She said that after her defeat in the 2019 elections (against her cousin Dhananjay Munde), there has been a lot of speculation that she has been sidelined in the BJP, adding that she doesn’t need to prove herself.

Munde reiterated that she remains with the BJP and her party leaders’ word is like a command for her, as she vowed to continue with the party as always.

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