Amid the flutter caused by BJP leader Pankaja Munde after she removed her party's name from her Twitter bio, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil on Monday said she was not leaving the party. Patil dismissed reports in a section of media which claimed that she may quit the BJP. In the October 21 state Assembly elections, Pankaja Munde, who is the daughter of late party stalwart Gopinath Munde, lost to her cousin and NCP rival Dhananjay Munde in a bitter contest from Parli seat in Beed district.
"The BJP leaders are in touch with Pankaja Munde. She is introspecting after her defeat but it does not mean she is leaving the BJP," Patil told reporters.
He also refuted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's claim that many leaders were keen on joining the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. "The accidental government that has come up in Maharashtra is spreading such baseless news. She may be having good family relations with Thackerays but it does not mean she is joining the Sena," Patil said.
Pankaja Munde removed all details from her Twitter bio, including the word 'BJP' and description of her political journey, on Monday, a day after creating a flutter with her social media post on her "future journey" in view of changed political scenario in Maharashtra.
Also, in her three recent tweets posted on November 28, she congratulated Maharashtra's new Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray but not the government formed by the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
She was a minister in the earlier Devendra Fadnavis-led government. She remained present in all core committee meetings of the state BJP unit held before the formation of the new government led by Sena chief Thackeray.
In her Facebook post on Sunday, she invited her followers to Gopinathgad on December 12 on the occasion of her late father's birth anniversary. Gopinathgad is a memorial of Gopinath Munde in Beed. "Looking at the changed political scenario in state, there is a need to think and decide the way ahead. I need time for some 8-10 days to communicate with myself. Our future journey need to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes," she wrote in her Facebook post in Marathi.
"What to do next? Which path to be taken? What can we give to people? What is our strength? What are expectations of people? I will think about all these aspects and come before you on December 12," she posted.
She also wrote that she had accepted her defeat in the polls and moved on.
"I had attended the meetings of the party (BJP)," the former MLA from Parli said on Facebook. Maharashtra politics saw several twists and turns after the Assembly poll results were declared on October 24. Scripting a new political chapter in the state, the Shiv Sena snapped ties with its decades-old ally BJP, which won maximum 105 seats, and joined hands with the NCP and Congress under the front called 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi' to form government.
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