Sulking Munde meets NCP leader
Desperate at being sidelined, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gopinath Munde has sent out a strong signal to his party leadership by meeting senior leaders from rival parties over the past few days.mumbai Updated: Jun 14, 2011 01:29 IST
Desperate at being sidelined, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gopinath Munde has sent out a strong signal to his party leadership by meeting senior leaders from rival parties over the past few days.
Munde had earlier met Congress’ Vilasrao Deshmukh. He also met Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray. at an undisclosed location in Mumbai on Sunday.
On Monday, he met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state public works department (PWD) minister Chhagan Bhujbal at his official residence on Malabar Hill.
Like Munde, Bhujbal too is an Other Backward Classes (OBC) leader, and the duo has joined hands in the past while demanding a caste-based census.
With reservations for OBCs likely to be the next big political event, if Bhujbal and Munde join hands, they would present a formidable challenge to all established political parties.
Alarmed by Munde’s actions, the state BJP leadership has swung into action, with senior leader Eknath Khadse heading to Delhi to meet party president Nitin Gadkari.
Both Munde and his associates claimed the meeting was related to some public works department work in his constituency, Beed. “I don’t want to comment further,” he said. However, the message is out loud and clear: Munde is unhappy, and he is letting the BJP know it.
The senior BJP leader has been upset with the appointment of Gadkari’s man,
Vikas Mathkari, as the Pune BJP chief and the return of another OBC leader, Uma Bharti, to the party.
The BJP, however, put up a brave face.
“Meeting with leaders from other political parties is a normal thing. He has met leaders earlier too,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.
Munde was conspicuously missing at the recent protest rally organised by the Sena-BJP alliance with their newly found ally Republic Party of India. Though it was said that he was ill, insiders claimed it was his way of showing his displeasure.
However, according to Gadkari’s supporters, Munde wants to be the sole decider of BJP politics in Maharashtra.
First Published: Jun 14, 2011 01:28 IST