Pankaja Munde undertakes fast for Marathwada region

BJP leader Pankaja Munde undertakes fast for Marathwada region

Pankaja Munde undertaking fast. (DH Photo)

After having attacked the party leadership over being sidelined in Maharashtra politics, BJP leader Pankaja Munde on Monday undertook a day-long fast at Aurangabad to highlight the water crisis in the Marathwada region.

Munde, the daughter of late BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde, was the Rural Development Minister in the erstwhile BJP-Shiv Sena government led by Devendra Fadnavis.

In the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, the 40-year-old Pankaja lost the polls from the family seat of Parli to her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde of NCP, who is the Social Justice Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Pankaja showed signs of rebellion and even dared the party leadership to sack her. However, she later softened down.

As a mark of solidarity, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, his counterpart in Council Praveen Darekar, former Speaker Haribhau Bagde, joined Pankaja during the agitation in Aurangabad, the headquarters of the Marathwada division. Pankaja's sister and Beed MP Dr. Pritam Munde and union minister Raosaheb Patil-Danve were also present.

In her brief speech, Pankaja said she was not here to criticize Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray but draw the attention of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to the serious water crisis plaguing the parched Marathwada region.

She urged the government to complete the ‘Marathwada Water Grid’ announced by the previous Fadnavis regime to solve the water problems of the people in the region.
Fadnavis said that in the last five years, his government had taken a lot of initiatives for the Marathwada region and augment water supply. "Marathwada is perennially hit by drought, it must get the water share that is due," he said, adding that Marathwada needs to be made drought-free.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the project is being merely reviewed and after studying it the appropriate decision would be taken.
Taking a swipe at Munde, Food & Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said" "If they (the BJP govt) had worked sincerely for five years, the situation would not have come to this stage for launching an agitation."