BJP leader and Kothrud MLA Chandrakant Patil on Thursday praised former state minister & BJP leader, Pankaja Munde for her work in Maharashtra. He asserted that Pankaja Munde was a "strong minister" during BJP's tenure in the state and reiterated that even after losing assembly elections she has not actually failed. This comes just ahead of her public address in Gopinathgad in Beed on December 12. Pankaja Munde holds a public rally every year on December 12 as the date marks the birth anniversary of her late father and a tall BJP leader in Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde.
Talking to the media, BJP's state President of Maharashtra, Chandrakant Patil said, "Even after Pankaja’s defeat in this election, she didn’t fail. She worked as a strong minister. We have discussed what and why all this happened but the way she has worked for the party is not an actual defeat. Pankaja is a strong leader. Now talking about all the complaints coming from our leaders, I promise that everybody's questions and confusion will be taken into consideration. We will find a solution. We will talk to everyone."
The BJP leader was defeated by cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde from Parli in the October Assembly polls, and there has been speculation that she was unhappy with the BJP. As reports of her exit from the saffron party emerged, BJP's former ally Shiv Sena said that they would be happy to welcome Munde, if she chooses to join the ruling party in Maharashtra. Speaking to ANI, Shiv Sena leader Abdul Sattar said, "On December 12, Pankaja Munde will decide on where she will go next. If she joins Shiv Sena, we will happily welcome her. Late Gopinath Ji and Balasaheb Ji shared a cordial relationship in the past."
After the Former Minister stirred speculations of her departure from the party, as she removed "BJP" from her Twitter bio. She clarified her stand and said, "I am not leaving the party. Defection is not in my blood". Since the results were out on October 24, Pankaja Munde did not visit her hometown, raising speculations about her future plans. However, she will be addressing the public in Gopinathgad at Beed on Thursday, December 12 which happens to be her father, Gopinath Munde's birth anniversary.