Pankaja Munde’s close aides said she doesn't want to be seen with Fadnavis and hence tries to avoid such situations although the duo can be seen together at party meetings.
Although BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar are touring flood-affected areas of Marathwada district, Pankaja Munde, the national secretary of the saffron party, said she would be out of bounds for the next four days owing to illness.
In a tweet, Munde said, “Unwell…tonsillitis and blisters in throat…advised strict voice rest for 2 to 4 days…can’t take calls or meet in person.”
While Munde has clearly stated that she will not be meeting or taking calls from anyone for the next four days, Fadnavis and Darekar are incidentally on a four-day tour of Marathwada region to meet the flood-hit farmers and residents.
While Fadnavis is the Opposition leader in state assembly, Darekar is the Opposition leader in state council. They duo will be in Beed, Munde’s home district, Monday but going by her tweet, she will be resting till Tuesday.
Four months back when Fadnavis had visited Marathwada and undertook a tour of Beed, Munde went to tour some other districts. While BJP leaders claim the two warring members of BJP — Munde and Fadnavis — have met, they have not shared a public platform since her defeat in the last assembly elections in 2019. Munde holds the Fadnavis camp responsible for her defeat.
She was again upset with the Fadnavis camp when her sister Preetam Munde, MP, was not included in the recent Union Cabinet expansion. However, both Fadnavis and Munde have restrained themselves from attacking each other publicly.
When asked about Munde’s illness, BJP state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “I have no information whether she has informed the party about her illness or not but she has already made it known to the world that she is not well. Munde is not an employee of the party wherein she is required to seek permission.”
Meanwhile, Munde’s close aides said she doesn’t want to be seen with Fadnavis and hence tries to avoid such situations although the duo can be seen together at party meetings. “Last time she had cited an official reason to be away from Beed when Fadnavis had visited. This time she has cited another genuine reason. By staying away from Fadnavis, she has indirectly expressed her resentment with the way she and her family have been treated. Neither has she forgotten about her defeat nor did her anger subside over the non-inclusion of her sister in the Union Cabinet,” said a close aide.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis said they are touring Marathwada to assess the situation and highlight the plight of farmers affected by the recent rain and floods. “We want to awaken the government to the plight of the farmers of Marathwada. The government aid is either not reaching them or is taking its own time to arrive. We want to highlight all that is going wrong in the rain-hit Marathwada districts,” he said.
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