Outgoing BJP minister Pankaja Munde who lost election to her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde in Parli is seen as a big setback for the saffron party. Pankaja Munde belongs to Vanjari community and she represents them. Her father Gopinath Munde had worked for the welfare of the community and had earned a lot of goodwill but Pankaja was unable to carry his legacy forward.
When our correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to NCP leader and advocate Majeed Memon he said, “Pankaja is outgoing minister. Since she is Gopinath Munde’s daughter, last time she won election easily. She had to face challenge from Dhananjay Munde. Despite having support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah Pankaja lost, it is a huge setback for BJP. In Maharashtra Pankaja Munde and Udayan Raje’s defeat is a big jolt for the BJP.”
Somehow her politics has gone on Raj Thackeray way. Raj Thackeray’s MNS had won few seats and was appreciated by the people but he did not take steps to expand the party in hinterland. Raj took voters for granted and rested on his past laurels.
Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “Residents of Parli did not like Pankaja Munde’s work. On the other hand, people like Dhananjay Munde’s work hence he emerged victorious. Pankaja’s name was involved in scam. Whereas Dhananjay Munde remained connected with the masses and worked for their welfare which resulted into his victory.”
People turned up in huge numbers to hear Thackeray’s speeches but those were not translated into votes for his party. The same thing happened with Pankaja Munde. She was the Rural Development and Women and Child Development Minister in the government of Devendra Fadnavis. If a Pankaj would have properly utilised this opportunity and connected with villagers then it would have done wonders for her.
BJP worker Avdhut Wagh said, “Pankaja Munde’s defeat is a shocking news for us. We will look into the reasons behind Pankaja’s defeat and next time BJP’s candidate will win from that constituency. Chief Minister will decide whether to allot ministry to Pankaja.”
However, after allotment of the portfolio her name cropped up in various scams. She is also very arrogant. On the other hand, her cousin Poonam Mahajan has become silent after she was given ministerial charge. Earlier, she used to be a loudmouth and used to say whatever comes to her mind. But once portfolio was assigned to her, she became very silent and she is growing. Also, she earned the goodwill. On the other hand, Pankaja Munde was loudmouth and failed to discharge her duties amicably.
Pankaja may be making tall claims about the work done by her but voters are not pleased with her. She also became aware that her opponent was nobody but her family member.
She belongs to Munde dynasty and she is liked by people just like her father. Dhananjay Munde also belongs to the same Munde family and Gopinath Munde was very close to him. Once upon a time, Dhananjay Munde was also in BJP.
There are several equations which are going against Pankaja and she is responsible for her defeat. She should have performed her work instead of being a part of all controversies.
BJP has a tendency to allot ministry to those leaders who have lost election. There are several examples like Arun Jaitley and Smriti Irani. Speculation is rife that Pankaja would be rewarded with some ministry to please the Vanjari community.