Explained: How Pankaja Munde Camp Unrest Could Impact BJP and Maharashtra Politics
Updated: July 15, 2021 at 07:58:33
After three days of protests that saw scores of BJP workers resign in the Beed region of Maharashtra, the party’s national secretary Pankaja Munde addressed her supporters on Tuesday, asking them to withdraw their resignations and affirming that “my leaders are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President JP Nadda”.
In political circles in Maharashtra, while some say the protest was orchestrated to reaffirm the Munde factor within the BJP, others point out that it could prove to be counterproductive.
Why is Pankaja Munde unhappy with BJP?
Some supporters of the national secretary of the BJP believe that there is a design within the organization to systematically sideline her. After losing the 2019 parliamentary elections to Parli in Beed district, Pankaja hoped the party would appoint her to the state legislative council, where she could be leader of the opposition. Instead, the BJP chose Ramesh Karad.
Later, regarding the seat of Rajya Sabha, she was again ignored and Bhagwat Karad of Aurangabad, from the same community of Vanjara as her, got the seat. During the recent expansion of the Union cabinet, she had hoped that her younger sister Pritam Munde would be considered, but Bhagwat, a former partner of her father, the late Gopinath Munde, was appointed MoS for finance.
What will be the impact of his supporters’ unrest on Maharashtra BJP?
The three-day drama, which saw 105 members representing various local bodies resign, exposed the unrest within the BJP. Although recent discontent has been confined to Beed and partly to Ahmednagar district, such a development in a cadre organization that is in opposition does not bode well, indicating the absence of a strong mechanism for approach differences through dialogue.
How will this translate into electoral politics?
If unrest among Munde supporters increases, it will affect the polls for local bodies in Beed district in 2022. The Assembly and Parliament polls are scheduled for 2024, so it is difficult to determine the impact. .
The Mundes still exert considerable influence within the Vanjara community, which falls under the OBC category. Even now the late Gopinath Munde is worshiped throughout Maharashtra.
Will Munde leave the BJP if the party does not meet its demands?
By declaring Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah as her leaders, Munde has given the indication that she will not take any extreme measures at this time. At the same time, she kept a small window open. As she said, “Why leave the house we built? But if the roof collapses, we’ll think it over.
Senior BJP leader and former minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said: “Pankaja Munde’s association with the BJP goes beyond politics. She will never leave the BJP. Harsh speech is sometimes necessary to appease angry followers, who wish to see their leader rise to a certain position. Plus, Pankaja is one of the few OBC faces we have at BJP. She is a competent and hard-working leader who knows how to assume her responsibilities. “
Will the party reward Pankaja Munde?
There are two versions emerging from the party on this. One section believes that Pankaja will be housed at the Rajya Sabha by the end of the year.
The second point of view is that she is already national secretary, that she has been appointed assistant in charge of an important state like Madhya Pradesh, and is now expected to deliver.
The state and central BJP leaders reject the accusation that Munde had a crude deal within the party.
A principal secretary general of the BJP, requesting anonymity, said: “In 2009, Pankaja Munde received the ticket to compete from the seat of the Parliamentary Assembly without having to prove her merit in the organization. After Gopinath Munde disappeared in June 2014, the party offered the Beed Lok Sabha ticket to Pritam. Where is the injustice? We already have two from the Munde family in important positions when there are thousands of workers struggling for years before even reaching a local organization.
Reaction of Congress, PCN and Shiv Sena to developments in Munde
The ruling coalition partners use this discontent to claim that “the CBOs are being sidelined from the BJP”.
NCP Minister Nawab Malik was quick to point out how the BJP mistreated another CBO leader Eknath Khadse and forced him to resign. Khadse has now joined the NCP. In fact, a senior Sena leader said that Pankaja “is welcome in the Shiv Sena”.