Beed: Recalling late BJP leader Gopinath Munde's contribution to welfare of the poor and backward classes, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday expressed confidence that the late Union Minister's daughter Pankaja Munde would carry forward his work and legacy.
"We should resolve that we will continue the task of securing justice to all backward castes under Pankaja's leadership," Shah said while addressing an election rally at Bhagwangad in Ahmednagar's Pathardi taluka.
This was Shah's first public rally after BJP snapped its 25-year-old ties with poll partner Shiv Sena.
The elections to the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly are scheduled on October 15.
"BJP made a person from backward class the Prime Minister. A prominent policy of this government is to work for the welfare of backward classes. In the coming days, we will take this policy forward in Maharashtra as well," the BJP president said.
"I went to Chondi and now am in Bhagwangad, where Munde addressed his last public meetings to pay tribute to him," he said.
"The poor and backward classes were the focus of Munde's journey of struggle from Beed to Delhi," Shah said.
"I know what you people have in your mind," Shah said, apparently referring to the demands from the crowds who shouted that Pankaja must be given the top job after the assembly polls.
"Don't think that the leadership is not aware of your views," Shah told the crowd.
Later at the rally, Pankaja said that her father wanted to
invite Modi for the eight-day golden jubilee celebrations of Bhagwangad, scheduled to start on December 30.
Shah assured that the Prime Minister would definitely come to Bhagwangad on its golden jubilee.
"Modi had said that Munde was given the Rural Development portfolio because nobody else cared more for people from villages," the BJP prsident said.
Pankaja, who is the BJP nominee from the Parli assembly seat, said that her father made it a point to visit Bhagwangad on Dussehra every year.
Rashtriya Samaj Party leader Mahadev Jankar, whose party has tied up with BJP to contest assembly elections, said, "Like you made Modi the Prime Minister, you should also bring Pankaja Munde to the fore in Maharashtra."
Gopinath Munde had addressed a public meeting at Bhagwangad after taking oath as a Union Minister. A recording of his address, which is his last speech before he died in a road accident on June 3, was played at the rally today.
Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Eknath Khadse, Shiv Sangram party President Vinayak Mete, Gujarat BJP leader Shankarbhai Chaudhary and Munde's second daughter Preetam, who is BJP nominee for the Beed Lok Sabha bypoll on October 15, were present at the rally.