Former national Bharatiya Janata Party chief Nitin Gadkari’s sudden resignation has caused some upheaval in the state unit of the party. Insiders believe the Gadkari episode may worsen the in-fighting between Gadkari and Gopinath Munde groups.
With no role left to play at the national level, Gadkari is expected to devote more time to state politics. In such a scenario, and his possible endeavour to gain more control, Gadkari may try to recruit his supporters to all key posts. At the same time Munde, who will lead the party in the 2014 elections, would ensure his supporters are appointed to key posts.
Although the Gadkari camp is claiming their mentor would continue to work at the national level and would contest general elections from Nagpur, insiders believe it will be very difficult to maintain peace between the two camps. “By allowing the appointment of a Munde supporter Raj Purohit as the Mumbai unit chief, Gadkari wanted to buy peace on the home turf while heading towards innings at the national level. But, with the assembly elections round the corner, both groups will enter the fray flexing their muscles to appoint their leader to key posts,” a party functionary said.
Like the post of the state and Mumbai unit chiefs, the posts of leader of opposition in council and group leader in the BMC may also lead to a tussle between the two groups. “The process of electing chiefs will start next week. The post of Maharashtra chief is significant ahead of the 2014 elections, as the chief enjoys enormous control over seat-sharing and the elections are fought under his leadership. If Vinod Tawde from the Gadkari camp vies for the post, Munde would prefer to appoint his supporter as the leader of the opposition in the council,” the party functionary said.
The Gadkari camp also believes that Munde has played an important role in the ouster of their leader from the post. A Gadkari supporter also claimed that his leader had decided about the resignation three days ago. “It has nothing to do with the I-T raids on the Purti firms on Tuesday,” he said.