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Playing The OBC Card, Pankaja Munde Mulls To Enter Rajya Sabha

On the heels of NCP(A) Rajya Sabha member Sunetra Pawar, the BJP’s high profile OBC leader Pankaja Munde is said to be considering the same route to enter the parliament. Already, there is much consternation in the ruling NDA in Maharashtra since deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra has been elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha despite her resounding defeat in the Lok Sabha election by her sister in law Supriya Sule. The justification that Sunetra has been elected from the NCP(A) quota is not going down well. As if this is not enough, sections of the media have indicated that Sunetra, a political greenhorn, is eager for a slot in the Union council of ministers. Pankaja, too, has lost the recent Lok Sabha election. She was humbled by a political novice fielded by the NCP (SP). She was asked to contest for LS though she had lost the last assembly election. Sunetra’s example has emboldened Pankaja’s supporters to demand the RS slot for her. The backdrop for the clamour are the two reservation agitations underway in Maharashtra presently. While the Maratha stir has been revived, a few OBC leaders have begun their indefinite fast unto death to oppose any possible move to cut a slice out of the OBC reservation for the Maratha caste. If Pankaja is sent to the RS and made a Union minister, the OBC vote bank in the state will return to the NDA, her supporters are arguing.