Munde's nephew quits BJP, joins NCP

Mumbai, July 2 (IANS) In a jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, its legislator Dhananjay Munde, nephew of senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, quit the party to join the Nationalist Congress Party Tuesday.

Dhananjay Munde, member of the legislative council, also handed over his resignation letter to council chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh.

He formally joined the NCP and is likely to be fielded opposite his uncle Goinath Munde, the deputy leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, from the Beed parliamentary constituency in the next general elections.

In his reaction, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis made light of the development. "A person who was not loyal to his own uncle, what will he be to (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar," he said.

Interacting with media persons later, Dhananjay Munde said he was working for the NCP since the past six months after dissociating himself from the BJP over the last 18 months.

"Since January, I have been working for the NCP in Beed. It secured majority in the zilla parishad and panchayat samiti elections held since then," he said.

Asked whether he would contest the Beed Lok Sabha or Parli assembly constituencies, he said he would work for the NCP in any capacity he is asked to.

Dhananjay Munde was apparently peeved by his uncle overlooking his claim to contest from the Parli constitguency, for which Gopinath Munde nominated his daughter Pankaja.

Later, Dhananjay he was elected to the legislative council from the legislators' quota.