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‘Modi had to rethink decision on ministerial berth to Munde’

Gopinath Munde

Mumbai: A year after Gopinath Munde passed away, his daughter and Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to rethink the decision of not allotting ministerial berth to her father.

“When (it was assumed) he (Munde) would not be made minister, he called me…and said he did not think all was well as far as the ministerial berth was concerned,” Pankaja said.

“It is not my nature to go to anyone. We will return (to Maharashtra) after tomorrow’s swearing-in,” Pankaja recalled her late father as telling her, on the eve of the Modi government’s swearing-in ceremony.

“He (Munde) had made up his mind to such an extent,” she said, speaking at a commemorative event ‘Jagar Athavanincha’ at Aurangabad in Marathwada region.

“But I don’t know whether I should say this: He (Munde) was one with such a stature that even Modi had to change the decision,” said Pankaja, the rural affairs minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led state government.

“Modiji didn’t want to take a bad decision. He may have wanted to declare him (Munde) as the chief ministerial candidate the next day,” she said.

“But he (Modi) felt the need to allot him ministerial berth…Modiji had the maturity to think that if Munde is not inducted in the Cabinet, Maharashtra will look at the swearing in (of the Union cabinet) in a different manner,” Pankaja said.

Munde, then Union Rural Development Minister and a popular backward class leader from Maharashtra, died after a road accident in Delhi on June 3 last year.

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