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Maharashtra: Doors of Congress open for BJP's Pankaja Munde

Pankaja is daughter of Munde, a former Deputy Chief Minister and niece of late BJP stalwart Pramod Mahajan
Last Updated : 03 June 2023, 12:22 IST

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With BJP’s Pankaja Munde unhappy over being repeatedly sidelined by the saffron party, the Congress said that doors of the grand old party are open for her even as a top NCP leader met her and held deliberations.

Pankaja is daughter of Munde, a former Deputy Chief Minister and niece of late BJP stalwart Pramod Mahajan.

Pankaja was the rural development minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Shiv Sena government between 2014-19, however, in 2019, she lost the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly polls from the family seat of Parli against her own cousin Dhananjay Munde of NCP and remains sidelined in the state politics.

She was neither accommodated in the Maharashtra Legislative Council nor Rajya Sabha.

Pankaja’s sister Dr Pritam Munde is the BJP MP from Beed.

She was also not offered a ministerial berth when the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government came to power in June 2022.

Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat made an open offer to Pankaja to join the Congress.

"Pankaja is the daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde saheb who had excellent relations with everyone cutting across party lines. He contributed to BJP's growth in Maharashtra. It is sad she is being sidelined," said Thorat, a former Revenue Minister.

On the other hand, senior NCP leader and MLC Eknath Khadse met Pankaja.

Like Pankaja, Khadse, who was a close aide of the late Munde, was sidelined in the BJP after which he joined the Sharad Pawar-led NCP.

“Pankaja’s issue is an internal matter of the BJP…Pankaja and Khadse saheb had worked together for several years. Khadse saheb was very close to Munde saheb,” said Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar of the NCP.

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Published 03 June 2023, 12:22 IST

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