Advani intervenes to resolve Munde-Gadkari row
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani has intervened to resolve the crisis in the party's Maharashtra unit as Gopinath Munde has been sharing cold vibes with party president Nitin Gadkari over the appointment of Vikas Mathkari as the party president of Mumbai, instead of the candidate he had proposed, former BJP (Mumbai) general secretary Yogesh Gogawale.
In a bid to sort out the differences, BJP's deputy leader in Lok Sabha and party’s key OBC face Munde met Advani.
According to reports, Munde and Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Ananth Kumar earlier met senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu, who oversees party matters in Maharashtra.
Munde apparently wants a greater say in party's organisational affairs in Maharashtra with overarching powers. He is keen on being made BJP's Maharashtra in-charge.
On Saturday, a sulking Munde held deliberations with Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar. Party president Nitin Gadkari had stayed away from the exercise. Gadkari, with whom Munde is believed to have strong differences, also hails from Maharashtra.
After a two-and-half-hour meeting with Naidu and Kumar, Munde indicated the differences had not been sorted out yet. Naidu, however, appeared hopeful that the differences will be sorted out by Sunday.
"We have held positive and healthy talks with our senior BJP leader from Maharashtra Gopinath Munde. We are hopeful of an amicable solution after meetings with senior BJP leaders Gadkari and Advani," Naidu said.
"Although Munde has no personal problems, the grievances aired by him are those of party workers in the state," Naidu said, adding "Gopinathji is our senior party leader and we do not wish that he nurtures any pain. We will sort out everything by tomorrow".
Ever since Munde’s aide Yogesh Gogawale was sidelined for the post of Pune BJP president, with Gadkari loyalist Vikas Mathkari being named instead, the OBC leader has been in a bad mood. He is also keen for Sudhir Mungantiwar to make way for his loyalist as the state BJP chief.
Munde is reported to have been in touch with leaders from other parties, including Vilasrao Deshmukh of Congress, Chhagan Bhujbal of NCP and Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena, sparking speculation that he is planning to switch over.
On his recent meetings with leaders of Congress, Sena and NCP, Munde said that as he was in political life for the last three decades, it was natural that he had contacts across political parties. "Those who met me tried to gauge my pain," he said.