Munde poses headache for BJP over women’s bill
BJP leader Gopinath Munde seems to be charting a new course for himself in Maharashtra’s OBC politics by joining hands with NCP leader Chhaggan Bhujbal.delhi Updated: Apr 12, 2010 00:20 IST
BJP leader Gopinath Munde seems to be charting a new course for himself in Maharashtra’s OBC politics by joining hands with NCP leader Chhaggan Bhujbal.
Miffed with party chief Nitin Gadkari, Munde has also spoken against the party line by backing the demand for OBC quotas in the women’s reservation bill.
With Parliament reconvening on April 15, Munde’s stance is likely to embolden some BJP MPs who were opposed to the bill. Munde is the BJP’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.
Speaking at an event organised by the All India Muslim OBC Organisation in Mumbai on Saturday, Munde said, “There is a demand by the OBC community to have an OBC reservation in the women’s reservation bill. I have conveyed that my party has a different stand on this issue, but I have assured them that I will put forth this demand to my party.”
Sharing the dais with Bhujbal, Munde demanded that the other backward classes count be included in the census exercise.
He said he was willing to work under the leadership of Bhujbal for the rights of OBCs, creating a flutter in political circles.
Munde is miffed with Gadkari’s growing grip over the party in Maharashtra, particularly after Gadkari's close associate Sudhir Mungantiwar was elected president of the state unit of the BJP.
As a peace deal, when Gadkari, his junior in state politics, was made BJP president, Munde was made the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and chairman of the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee. Till then, Munde had been one of the general-secretaries of the national BJP.
Gadkari was at the receiving end when Munde ruled the roost in Maharashtra with the help of his brother-in-law Pramod Mahajan till his death in 2006. Munde has own reasons to speak out against the party line.