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Didn't want to contest LS polls, sought to work in Maharashtra: Pankaja Munde

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Mar 22 (PTI) The BJP's Beed Lok Sabha candidate Pankaja Munde on Friday said she did not want to contest general elections and wanted to work in Maharashtra.

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Munde, who was given a rousing welcome in Dhamangaon after entering Beed from neighbouring Ahmednagar district, said people of the state love her and "I had to take decisions with intellect".

"Some people thought my shop would be closed after the defeat in the 2019 Assembly polls from Parli in 2019. But it won't end in such a manner. The maths of votes is different while doing politics," she claimed.

Speaking earlier, Munde said it is unfortunate if her caste is brought up during campaigning.

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"Earlier, I never saw the caste of people while doing their work. I gave crores in funds to even those villages where voting for me was negligible. I just see my opponent as my competitor from another party," Munde said.

Munde said she met her party colleague and Pune Lok Sabha candidate Murlidhar Mohol there and also leaders in Ahmednagar and did not feel there was casteism in Maharashtra.

"However, after starting my Beed Lok Sabha campaign if my caste is brought up then it is unfortunate," she told reporters.

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Munde also claimed the Maratha quota agitation would not have any impact on her electoral chances.

"Gopinath Munde (her father and late BJP stalwart) had said Marathas must be given reservation. Probably this work will be completed through me. People must not fall prey to false propaganda," she asserted.

"While defending the rights of the OBCs, protecting Maratha community is also my duty. I have never taken the stage over caste, so people of all communities have faith in me," she claimed.

Munde, who was a minister in the previous Devendra Fadnavis government, lost from Parli in the 2019 Assembly polls to her cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. PTI AW BNM

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