Trying to clear air around her political stand, BJP National Secretary Pankaja Munde on Friday said that she won’t be joining any other party and also announced that she is taking a ‘break’ for two months. Pankaja Munde, who addressed a press conference at her residence in Worli at noon, also claimed that several BJP MLAs in the state are dissatisfied and are afraid to speak out.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was interacting with the media after induction of Dr Neelam Gorhe into Shiv Sena, said that senior party leaders would speak to her and would try do away with any resentment she has over inclusion of any leaders in the government.
BJP national secretary is disturbed with media for spreading news
Munde also said that she is very disturbed due to reports claiming she had met Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and shall file a defamation suit against the TV channel which gave the report.
Munde, who had lost the 2019 Assembly elections to her cousin Dhananjay of the NCP and was appointed a BJP national secretary in 2020, said there are frequent reports of her being unhappy with the party. “Why do such discussions happen? Is it because I have not been invited to party functions several times? I have been ignored and the party should answer why,” she said.
I have not met Sonia, Rahul Gandhi
“I have worked tirelessly for the party for 20 years and, despite that, my ethics are questioned and rumours are spread. I swear that I have never met Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. I am not joining any other party. I will do whatever I want to do openly. BJP’s ideology is in my blood and I am walking on the path shown by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Gopinath Munde,” she added.
Alluding to the recent developments in Maharashtra politics, Munde said new experiments are taking place these days.
“The BJP has 105 MLAs. Many of them are dissatisfied but can’t speak out because they are afraid. Narendra Modi had said ‘na khaunga na khane dunga’ (I won't tolerate corruption) and people had liked that slogan,” she added.
The BJP leader said she had congratulated Dhananjay Munde, who took oath as a minister in the Maharashtra cabinet this week after Ajit Pawar’s rebellion, when he went to meet her after the swearing-in ceremony.
Munde said she had always accepted the party’s decisions and never stabbed anyone in the back.
“Ever since I lost in 2019, every time there are MLC elections or Rajya Sabha elections, there are reports that I am unhappy. I was given a form for the MLC elections and told minutes before submitting my nomination that I can’t do so. I accepted the party’s decision wholeheartedly. I never made personal attacks against anyone or stabbed anyone in the back,” she said.
“I had said earlier that I will never hesitate to quit politics if I have to compromise on my ideologies. I am going on a two-month holiday,” she announced.
Pankaja Munde is national level leader
Fadnavis, when asked about Munde’s comments, said, “Pankajatai is a national secretary and is a national-level leader of the party. She has some opinions. It is true that several people in our party have fought against the NCP for a long time and they won’t immediately accept the BJP’s alliance with the party. Such things will happen, but Pankaja Munde is a senior leader of the party and she has always been with us. The party’s leadership will speak to her and understand what’s in her heart. I believe she will continue to work for the party.”