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Another setback for Pankaja Munde

Questions are being raised over Pankaja’s leadership after she lost the Parli Krushi Utpanna Bazar Samithi election.

Women and child welfare minister Pankaja Munde has suffered a major setback after she lost the Parli Krushi Utpanna Bazar Samithi election to her cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. The NCP has swept the polls by winning 14 out of 18 seats in the bazar samithi polls. NCP which was losing its foothold in the state is trying to rebuild itself after winning three elections held in Beed district. On the other hand, BJP could only manage to win four seats. Thus questions are being raised over Pankaja’s leadership and her ability to connect with voters. She also had offered to resign after BJP lost most of local seats in Beed. However, Fadnavis refused to accept her resignation.

After winning the election Dhananjay Munde said, “NCP’s victory in Beed will act as wake up call for BJP to pull up its socks and perform better. Of late BJP has been taking voters for granted and has only been trying to win election. They also have to work for the welfare of the masses or else they might be voted out of power.”

“We will now work hard and try to fulfil the promises made by us before the election. People have huge expectations from us. BJP was trying to win the polls through money. They also have been criticising opposition parties instead of working for development. Our party’s victory in the election has surprised everyone,” he added.

“Pankaja who had earlier had aspirations to become chief minister of Maharashtra has seen her popularity declining after she was sidelined by BJP senior leadership. Her tiff with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also has not helped her cause. On the other hand, Fadnavis has been trying to clip Pankaja’s wings by allotting important portfolios to other leaders in the party. She must try to regain confidence of senior BJP leadership,” said political analysts.

The Beed constituency was known as the stronghold of Pankaja’s late father Gopinath Munde who had been working here since last thirty years. He also had huge voter base in this region and was popular among the masses. Dhananjay’s father Pandit Anna Munde used to oversee the functioning of the samithi. However, things changed after Anna Munde turned rebel as Dhananjay tightened his grip over the constituency. Situation has drastically changed after Munde’s demise as Pankaja was unable to carry forward her father’s legacy.

The Parli Bazar Samithi had witnessed 96 per cent polling. Forty two candidates had contested for 18 seats.

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