Irked over the non-inclusion of MP Pritam Munde Khade in the Union council of ministers, more than 20 BJP office-bearers in Maharashtra’s Beed resigned, a local leader said on Sunday, adding that members of Beed Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti along with BJP councillors from Ambajogai have left for Mumbai to submit their resignations.
The resigned officials include Beed BJP district general secretary Sarjerao Tandale and district youth wing vice-president Vivek Pakhre and several members of the district Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti.
“Pritam Munde was in the reckoning to get a cabinet berth, but her name was dropped at the last minute. Thousands of workers of BJP were waiting to see Pritam Munde get a place in the expanded council of ministers. However, their dream was shattered when her name did not figure in the final list. In protest, I am resigning from the post," said BJP Beed district general secretary Sarjerao Tandle.
A BJP insider said that what has irked the followers is the party’s decision to make BJP leader Bhagwat Karad a MoS. Karad, a close associate who was groomed by the late Gopinath Munde, represents Vanjara community, which comes under the OBC category.
He hails from Aurangabad in Marathwada. Khade and her elder sister Pritam Munde — the national BJP secretary also belong to Vanjara community and represent Beed in Marathwada.
However, BJP’s decision to empower Karad has sent a message that BJP is trying to build an OBC leadership in the Marathawada region to check Khade and Munde.
After the party members resigned, Munde said “We share a very cordial bond with our supporters. It is a long-lasting relationship not based on power or post. They are hurt…”
However, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis dismissed reports that the non-inclusion of BJP’s two-time MP Pritam Munde into the Union Cabinet has left her and said that these were attempts to malign them.
When asked about reports that Pankaja Munde was angry with the party leadership, Fadnavis told The Times of India, “Who told you they are angry? Don’t spread rumours and malign them."
Four leaders from Maharashtra were inducted into the cabinet. There was speculation that Pritam Munde would get a cabinet berth. However, she failed to find any place in it.
(with inputs from PTI)