Sanjay Raut
Sanjay Raut

Mumbai: A day after former minister for women and child welfare Pankaja Munde, who lost the recent Assembly poll, removed the ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ (BJP) from her social media profile,

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has added more flavour to political speculations stating that there will be more exodus from the BJP to Shiv Sena and that the support of Maha Vikas Agadhi in the Maharashtra Assembly is likely to touch 185.

On Sunday, Munde had written a personal note on her Facebook wall. Thanking her voters and followers of Munde family, she wrote, “You all have been asking me to give some time to speak with you. I will give you time, after eight to 10 days.

Meanwhile, I need these eight to 10 days to be with myself, speak to myself and process the entire series of events that I have been through. I want to decide on my future course of action and what decision to take.

I want to choose the next path ahead and decide what new can I offer my people. I need to assess my strengths. I will speak to my close confidantes and will announce on December 12.”

Immediately after this, Munde removed BJP from her Twitter profile.

Stating that he doesn’t want to take names now, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said: “Many important leaders are going to join the Shiv Sena. Pankaja Munde’s decision will come on December 12. The strength of Maha Vikas Agadhi will soon go up to 185.”

According to a senior journalist, Munde’s reaction on social media could be a pressure tactic on her party even while signalling to the Sena that she is open to a prominent position in the government.

“Gopinath Munde and Thackeray’s family relations have always been good. After the Sena-BJP split after the polls, she had made her role clear. If she decided to get out of BJP, the Sena can be the party for her.

She won’t join the NCP because Dhanajay Munde, her cousin is now a well established leader in the NCP. Instead of joining the Congress, the Sena could be her choice. She might also be aiming to put pressure on her party ahead of crossing over to Sena,” he said.

“Sanjay Raut’s contact with leaders in BJP cannot be denied. There has been a change in guard in the state too. People bow to power. Eknath Khadse too has expressed displeasure and has criticised BJP and former CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Mulund BJP MLA Sardar Tara Singh has also met Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshri and congratulated him. Prakash Mehta, one and only Gujarati face of BJP in the state, too is keeping a studied silence. In future these leaders might speak against BJP and get in touch with Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP,” he explained.

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