Mumbai: Panditanna Munde, the elder brother
of senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, is on his way to the
Sharad Pawar-led NCP.
Panditanna is father of Dhananjay Munde, who backed a BJP
rebel in the recent elections to the chairmanship of the Parli
municipal council against the official candidate nominated by
Panditanna blamed his younger brother`s wife Pradnya for "dividing" the family.
"There is nothing in the mind of Gopinath. It is his wife and
daughter (Pankaja, BJP MLA), who have poisoned his mind," he
"I will join NCP at a function at Parli on January 19, in
presence of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar," he said.
Asked the reason for leaving BJP, Panditanna said, "For
the last three years, I was feeling suffocated in the party,
for which I have worked tirelessly for so many years, right
from the Jan Sangh days."
Reacting to the development, Gopinath Munde said his
brother was joining NCP for "selfish" interests.
BJP MLC Dhananjay Munde had violated party whip in the
Parli municipal council poll.
Deepak Deshmukh, backed by Dhananjay, won the election.
While Deshmukh polled 26 votes, Jugal Kishore Lohia, a
Gopinath Munde loyalist and BJP`s official nominee, polled
In September, Dhananjay`s brother-in-law, Madhusudan
Kendre, left BJP to join NCP.
Accusing Ajit Pawar of dividing his family, Gopinath
Munde said that the deputy chief minister was indulging in
"politics of vendetta".
He rubbished his elder brother`s charge that his wife
Pradnya was responsible for the rift in the family. "She is
not into politics," Munde said.
"I knew in advance that Panditanna would be joining NCP
on the 19th. After some time, even Dhananjay will join NCP,"
he said. Asked if he felt BJP leaders such as (party
president) Nitin Gadkari and Vinod Tawde played a role in the
rift in Munde family, he said, "They played no such role. This
is solely Ajit Pawar`s doing."