BJP leader Pankaja Munde, who sparked speculations of leaving the party by removing her party’s name from her Twitter bio, on Tuesday paid tributes to India’s first president Rajendra Prasad on his birth anniversary on her Facebook page with the BJP symbol on it. The ‘About’ section of her Facebook account also mentioned BJP as her political affiliation.
Notably, her father late Gopinath Munde helped the BJP in getting support from the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Maharashtra. “If Munde leaves the BJP, a section of the OBC workers will also drift away from the party,” a BJP leader said.
On Sunday evening, Pankaja Munde triggered speculation on her next political move with a Facebook post on her “future journey” in view of the changed political scenario in Maharashtra.
“What to do next? Which path to be taken? What can we give to people? What is our strength? What are expectations of people? I will think about all these aspects and come before you on December 12,” she posted on Facebook. She also wrote that she had accepted her defeat in the polls and moved on.
On Monday, she removed “BJP” from her Twitter bio and description of her political journey, giving more fuel to rumour mills. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also claimed that many leaders were keen on joining the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. However, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Monday refuted Raut’s claim and dismissed reports that Pankaja Munde might quit the BJP.
On Monday night, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who also heads the Shiv Sena, thanked Pankaja Munde for congratulating him on becoming the CM on November 28. In the October 21 state Assembly elections, Pankaja Munde lost to her cousin and NCP rival Dhananjay Munde in a bitter contest from Parli seat in Beed district. She had served as a minister in the earlier Devendra Fadnavis-led government.
She remained present in all core committee meetings of the state BJP unit held before the formation of the new government led by Sena chief Thackeray. In her Facebook post on Sunday, she invited her followers to Gopinathgad in Beed district on December 12 on the occasion of her late father birth anniversary.
“Looking at the changed political scenario in state, there is a need to think and decide the way ahead. I need time for some 8-10 days to communicate with myself. Our future journey need to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes,” she wrote in her Facebook post in Marathi.