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Split wide open, BJP plans for post-Munde scenario

The BJP's crisis in the wake of Gopinath Munde's rebellion continued on Tuesday, even as the party leadership insisted that talks with him were on track. Zeeshan Shaikh and Vikas Pathak reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2011 23:32 IST

The BJP's crisis in the wake of Gopinath Munde's rebellion continued on Tuesday, even as the party leadership insisted that talks with him were on track.

But, with a meeting of Maharashtra MPs and MLAs in Mumbai ending in 10 minutes due to the aggressive stance of Munde's supporters, the state BJP is getting ready for a post-Munde scenario, even as it hopes for the best.

At the Mumbai meeting called to show a united front, the Gadkari camp had planned to pass a resolution expressing faith in the party leadership. However, as Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Eknath Khadse began to speak, Munde supporters — MLAs Prakash Shendge and Sambhaji Pawar — insisted on discussing the crisis. They also alleged that Munde had not been invited for the meeting.

Munde said he would take a decision only after hearing out top BJP leaders, but added he was saddened that he was not even invited to the Mumbai meeting.

Khadse and senior BJP leaders made a beeline for Munde's house after the abortive meeting. "We had positive discussions. There will be good news in the next 24 hours," state BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar said.

But Munde rushed to Delhi later in the day apparently to meet Congress leaders, though a BJP leader in Delhi said he would meet the BJP brass and the crisis would be "resolved".

The Congress brass is believed to be open to accept the OBC leader in its ranks. Sources said Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan has been summoned to Delhi to work out Munde’s potential shift.

“Munde ji has expressed his views. Only in the BJP can you do this,” said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Husain. “Talks are constructive. We will let you know.”

In Mumbai, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari's aides Vinod Tawde, Eknath Khadse and Sudhir Munguntiwar began contacting leaders to ensure they do not thrown their weight behind Munde.

First Published: Jun 21, 2011 00:17 IST