Supporters of BJP leader Pankaja Munde have started gathering outside her office in Mumbai’s Worli, where she is supposed to address them later today.
There has been discontent in sections of the BJP over the “sidelining” of Pankaja and her sister Pritam Munde Khare, after the latter was denied a Union cabinet berth in favour of another Maharashtra BJP leader, Bhagwat Karad.
While many BJP workers in Beed district have resigned after the Cabinet reshuffle, there have also been calls for “the anger spilling on roads”.
In Worli, a makeshift pandal with chairs has been erected to accommodate people coming in from Beed, Ahmednagar and Pathardi. A Beed BJP leader said, “We were expecting 4,000 workers to reach Mumbai. People are still on their way. But due to Covid-19, many have stayed back in there respective villages and districts.”
Balasaheb Sanap, a Munde supporter and Beed office-bearer who resigned, said they want “justice” for the sisters. “The contribution of late Gopinath Munde (father of Pankaja and Pritam) is immense. He played an important role in building the party organisation. The BJP had tried to underestimate his contribution, but he fought back. Now, the party is trying to do injustice to Pankaja and Pritam Munde. We seek justice for the Mundes”.
Beed district president Rajendra Mhaske said around 105 BJP workers have resigned so far. “From Beed district alone, 14 district zilla parishad members, 35 panchayat samiti members, 16 market committee members, and 11 mandal committee members have offered resignations,” he said.
Another Munde supporter, Nagnath Kharade from Pathardi, said, “We came here to show our support. We will accept whatever decision Pankaja takes. We will not go against her words.” Resignations by her supporters from various local bodies is to convey their dissatisfaction to the state and central BJP leadership, he added. “In the past, BJP did not make Pankaja Munde a member of the state legislative council. Now, they did not make Pritam Munde Khade a cabinet minister,” he pointed out. Several messages of support for the Munde sisters were also seen on social media.