Maharashtra BJP leader Pankaja Munde, who is reportedly sulking since her defeat in the October 21 Assembly polls, on Monday, remained absent for the party's regional level meeting in Aurangabad. State BJP president Chandrakant Patil, however, said Pankaja remained absent with prior permission as she was unwell.
"I have spoken to Pankaja Munde before coming to Aurangabad for the meeting. She is ill. Moreover, preparations are going on for the December 12 rally. She remained absent with prior permission," Patil told reporters.
The senior BJP leader said that he would meet Pankaja in her hometown Parli in Beed district after two days.
Pankaja, daughter of BJP stalwart late Gopinath Munde, had caused a flutter with her social media post on her future political journey in view of the "altered political scenario" in Maharashtra, where the Shiv Sena formed a government with the support of the NCP and Congress after snapping ties with former ally BJP.
Pankaja, a former minister, had also appealed to her supporters to assemble at Gopinathgad--a memorial of her late father---in Beed district on December 12 on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
She had also removed the word "BJP" from her twitter bio, triggering speculation about her future in the BJP.
However, Pankaja later clarified that she was not leaving the BJP and that defection was not in her blood. Meanwhile, Patil accused former ally Shiv Sena of abandoning "Hindutva" for the sake of power.
"The Shiv Sena has abandoned the agenda of Hindutva and joined hands with the Opposition parties," he said.
Patil said that the BJP will contest the upcoming elections to the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on its own. He said that the BJP and the Sena had worked together in Aurangabad and also contested elections as pre-poll allies. "We have ruled this civic body together and carried out development works. But now the BJP will contest separately," he added.