Estranged cousins and political rivals NCP leader Dhananjay Munde and the BJP's Pankaja Munde took jibes at each other on stage during an event here on Wednesday.
The exchange took place in the presence of NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar at the inauguration of renowned ophthalmologist Dr Tatyarao Lahane's hospital here.
Pawar heaped praises on Lahane during his address and said, "I am sure Dr Lahane will continue to give vision to the needy through the hospital." During her speech, Pankaja, a former minister, said, "The guardian minister of our Beed district and our brother Dhananjay Munde.Very few people have been fortunate enough to see through the lenses of Pawar saheb after having grown up looking through the lenses of Munde-Mahajan." She was referring to late BJP leaders her father Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan, under whose guidance Dhananjay Munde started his political career before he quit the BJP to join the NCP in 2013.
Responding to his cousin's comments, Dhananjay Munde said, "Taai (sister), sometimes one has to come under the focus of lenses. I was speaking to Aaditya Thackeray a while ago and he said it will be nice if Taai changes the lenses and uses that of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). He said that, not me." Maharashtra Ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Amit Deshmukh, Aaditya Thackeray and BJP MP Pritam Munde were present at the event.
Praising Lahane, who is a Padma Shri awardee, Dhananjay Munde said the world knows about the political enmity between him and Pankaja Munde, but the eye surgeon was "quite important" to both of them which is why they attended the event.
Dhananjay Munde had defeated incumbent MLA Pankaja in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls from Parli segment of Beed district in the state's Marathwada region.