Nonetheless, 11 taluka presidents of the BJP in
have apparently quit their posts. Even as the party tried to paper the cracks, party workers took to social media to express their displeasure. Pankaja Munde addressed a press conference saying she was not angry at the party decision, but her supporters acted otherwise. They said the party’s snub was the “last straw” and that their leader had been continuously sidelined in the party as well as in the district. “She should have been made a member of legislative council after her loss in the assembly election, as she is an important leader. However, she was ignored. Her sister has now been given the same treatment. She is being relegated even within the district,” said one of the supporters, who did not wish to be identified.
There is unease within the Pankaja Munde camp that the party has given more opportunities in Marathwada to leaders from the Vanjari community, to which Munde belongs. Early last year, the party had made Ramesh Karad an MLC, almost at the same time as it also chose to send former Aurangabad mayor Bhagwat Karad to the Rajya Sabha. Both the Karads were from the Vanjari community and their elevation was seen as an attempt to cut Munde down to size. Munde also used to lead the sugar cane workers, a role which Suresh Dhas has sought to challenge by raising their issues. Dhas is a former NCP MLA who switched to the BJP. With the party taking a dim view of the resignations, Munde has now called a meeting of her supporters on Tuesday at Worli to assuage them.