Pankaja Munde says she is being politically targeted ,ready to resign

PUNE,Oct12: “I have kept my resignation ready,” state minister Pankaja Munde said on Tuesday, adding that she was being deliberately targeted and questioned by her opponents who want to end her political career. However, Pankaja didn’t elaborate whether she was talking of opponents within her party-the BJP-or those in the opposition.

“I have shouldered the legacy of my father on my tender shoulders. How much can one be targeted? Allegations of corruptions are made (against me), then some say that I have threatened them, I am being called a goon. If nothing is proved against me, my image is being maligned. I am being grilled like Abhimanyu.

I have kept my resignation ready in my chopper. The moment my people feel that I have done something wrong, I will not be there (in the cabinet),” Pankaja said, addressing a massive rally at the foothills of Bhagwangad-a major place of pilgrimage for Vanjaris on the Ahmednagar-Beed road.

A huge police bandobast was in place at Bhagwangad as there was a possibility of a confrontation between supporters of Munde and Namdevshastri, the spiritual head of the community who had announced that he would not allow Pankaja to address a rally at Bhagwangad, arguing that henceforth the religious place should not be allowed to be used as a political battleground.

Gopinath Munde had set a tradition of addressing Dussehra meetings at Bhagwangad and Pankaja had continued it till last year.

The police machinery heaved a sigh of relief after Pankaja decided to address the rally at the foothills of Bhagwangad, although she climbed the hill to take darshan of Bhagwanbaba’s samadhi.

Though she avoided meeting Namdevshastri, she said, “I don’t want any confrontation. I am sure that the religious head of Bhagwangad will invite me for a rally next year”. Some tension prevailed before the rally started as police and Pankaja supporters locked horns, but it eased out soon.

Addressing a huge crowd of supporters, Pankaja said she had done nothing wrong. “I am not an arrogant person, but I am self-esteemed person,” she said. She also said that she had to struggle a lot to ensure that Sada Khot of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and Mahadev Jankar of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha are included in the state cabinet. “It is now proved that my brothers (Khot and Jankar) have got a red beacon (minister’s post) because of me,” said Pankaja.

Cabinet minister Ram Shinde said he was elevated from minister of state to cabinet rank because of Pankaja and added that Pankaja gave away her portfolio of water conservation minister to him.

Cabinet minister Mahadev Jankar said he was unsure about BJP’s backing to Pankaja but assured her that he would continue to support her in political battle.Jankar came down heavily on Pankaja’s estranged cousin Dhananjay who is with the NCP saying that he had accepted ‘supari’ of Baramatikars (Sharad and Ajit Pawar) against Pankaja.

MP Raju Shetti extended his support to Pankaja saying that she was a state leader. Support also came for senior BJP leader and minister Eknath Khadse who had to resign from the state cabinet over allegations of misappropriations in a land deal.
Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade said Jankar’s tirade against the Pawars was objectionable. “Fadnavis must clarify if he accepts this kind of language by his minister,” said Kakade. Sources said that the NCP members are planning to target Jankar over his remarks against the Pawars.