Amidst the spate of resignations by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officer bearers and elected representatives from local bodies to protest against the non-induction of Beed Member of Parliament (MP) Pritam Munde in the cabinet expansion, leader Pankaja Munde landed in Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Sunday evening. She is believed to have raised the issue pertaining to the growing discontent over sidelining the two-term Beed MP in the cabinet expansion.
Pankaja, who attended the meeting of all the national secretaries called by party president JP Nadda, also met him separately to express her displeasure. So far, more than 49 Munde supporters from BJP and those who were holding various posts in the local bodies have tendered their resignations in the last two days. Party insiders said some more Munde supporters are expected to quit from local bodies and also from party posts.
Pankaja has clarified that Pritam and she were not upset. However, insiders pointed out that the elevation of Rajya Sabha member Dr Bhagwat Karad as the minister of state has been an attempt to clip her wings and undermine her leadership in the Marathwada region. Pankaja said her relationship with her followers was long lasting and not based on power or post. However, she admitted that they were hurt that Pritam could not find a place in the cabinet expansion.
“There was no divide within the BJP. And, there was no team Devendra and team Narendra. The party’s belief is to put the nation first, then the party’s interest and lastly individual interests. Pritam and I have always abided by that dictum,” said Pankaja.