Not upset; I accept party’s decision: Pankaja on sister not getting berth in Union Cabinet

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Mumbai, Jul 9 (PTI) BJP leader Pankaja Munde on Friday said she was not upset with the party leadership’s decision of not including her younger sister and two-time MP Pritam Munde into the Union council of ministers, but admitted that there was 'negativity' among her supporters due to it.

Talking to reporters, she also said she wasn't so big a leader that the party will try to finish her politically as was alleged by the Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“I was born in Vanjara community and that doesn't mean I should be referred to as a Vanjara or OBC leader. I belong to the state. I am a woman leader and I represent the entire state. It would be wrong to portray me as a Vanjara leader,' she said.

There is no question of me being upset, she added.

“Pritam Munde was being considered (for a berth in Union cabinet). Like her, even Heena Gavit was being considered. Pritam is a hardworking and loyal party worker. She won from Beed with a record margin. Not because she is Gopinath Munde's daughter, but because she was a deserving candidate. The party is the ultimate truth. There is no question of me being upset,” she said.

Munde said she got the legacy of party loyalty from my father.

‘Saamana’ on Friday alleged that the move of inducting Bhagwat Karad, who it said grew in the shadow of Gopinath Munde, into the Union council of ministers was aimed at finishing off the political career of Pankaja Munde.

She said, “The party leadership may have felt those included in the cabinet will be of more use...If someone else is getting a chance, I am happy for them. A leader 's true victory is when the supporters grow,” she said.

The former state minister also said that her father was not just an OBC leader as he represented all the deprived sections of the society in the state.

'If there is attempt to reduce anybody 's clout, the clout in fact grows stronger. I admit my supporters are upset and there is some negativity. My sister or I never sought ministerial positions,' a teary-eyed Pankaja said.

When asked about it, she said she remembered her father, who died in New Delhi in June 2014, days after he took oath as a Union minister.

On Thursday, when asked about reports that Pankaja Munde was angry with the party leadership over non-inclusion of her sister in the cabinet, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had shot back saying, “Who told you they are angry? Don't spread rumours and malign them.' Pankaja Munde was a minister during the Fadnavis-led state government, but she had lost the 2019 Assembly polls from Parali seat, her home turf. PTI MR NP NP

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