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Pankaja Munde u-turn?Two days after vow, she enters Mantralaya

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Two days after she took a vow in public against entering until the community gets reservation, Women and Child Development Tuesday set foot in the secretariat and attended a Cabinet meeting.

The opposition NCP has asked to stop the "farce" though the insisted that she never broke her vow.

Interestingly, had told a rally in Nanded on January 6 that she would not enter the state seat of power until the (Shepherd) community is given quota.

Dhangars, who are included in the Vimukt Jati Nomadic Tribe (VJNT) category, have been demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for long.

"I, Pankaja Gopinath Munde, promise you in this public meeting that we will come to power without breaking the trust of Dhangars. But, until the issue of the Maratha reservation is finished, I will not step into my office," Munde had said.

Earlier in the day, when Munde was entering to attend the cabinet meeting, and convener of Sakal community stopped her and asked her what happened to her announcement.

"The told me she never said that she will not climb the steps of Mantralaya. This is a betrayal of the Dhangar community. Today, she went back on her own statement and entered her office. However, in 2019, the Dhangars will ensure that you won't have to visit the Mantralaya," Vadkute told reporters.

Later speaking to at her office, Munde said she has not broken her vow.

"What I had said was: 'We (BJP) will form government once again. However, even after coming to power, I will not enter Mantralaya until demands of Dhangars are fulfilled'. I am firm on my statement," the BJP MLA said, adding that she never stated that she will not climb the steps of Mantralaya now.

Instead of stopping me from entering Mantralaya, Vadkute should question those who kept Dhangars deprived of reservation for the last 70 years.

"If stopping me will give them reservation, I will be happy to be stopped," she said.

Reacting to the episode, Munde's arch rival and of Opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde (NCP) said the minister should stop her "farce" and answer clearly when would the Dhangars get quota.

"Today, we have stopped you from entering Mantralaya. Tomorrow, people will stop you from coming to power," said Dhananjay, the estranged cousin of Munde.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 16:35 IST