The sudden rendezvous between former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) founder Raj Thackeray on Monday has ruffled quite a few feathers.
Gopinath Munde is said to have been upset over not been kept in the loop about the meeting between Raj Thackeray and Nitin Gadkari and Uddhav Thackeray is miffed that Gadkari met Raj Thackeray after the Mahayuti grand alliance had already been formed. File pics
mid-day had reported yesterday about the possibility of MNS not contesting the Lok Sabha elections this would ensure that they didn’t eat into the NDA vote share.
In return, the MNS would get NDA’s support in the state assembly elections (‘MNS may not contest Lok Sabha elections’, March 4). After Gadkari and Raj met at lunch on Monday, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde decided to skip the BJP’s parliamentary board meeting yesterday as a mark of protest.
Absent at vital meet
The meeting was to discuss candidates for the five crucial Lok Sabha seats (Pune, Bhiwandi, Nandurbar, Latur and Solapur) and the state council elections. Munde, the BJP’s state election head, decided to visit his home district Beed instead. The meeting was convened without him at the state headquarters.
According to top BJP sources, he was upset that being the election chief, he should’ve been kept in the loop about the meeting between the two leaders. However, party spokesman Ganesh Hake clarified, “Munde had to rush to Beed, as the entire district has witnessed heavy downpour with hailstorm on Monday evening.”
But Munde reached Parli, in Beed on Tuesday morning, when his MLA daughter Pankaja had already been there for the last two days. On the other hand, Uddhav Thackeray is believed to have conveyed his strong displeasure to the state unit of the BJP. To pacify him, Devendra Fadnavis, the party’s state chief, rushed to Matoshree, Thackeray’s residence, in the evening.
“Uddhav is unhappy since everything was settled on – the allocation of seats with the RPI, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and the Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (the Mahayuti alliance). Even Munde has the same view, as the grand alliance has kicked off its campaign by organising public rallies,” said a BJP leader.
Shiv Sena reacted strongly on Tuesday; its spokesman MP Sanjay Raut said they didn’t need the MNS. “Any attempt to let him (Raj) or the NCP to align with Mahayuti will have serious repercussions,” he warned. We can win 40 LS seats without any new player, claimed Raut.
>> Munde angry over not being told about meeting with MNS
>> Decided to visit his home district, Beed
>> Parliamentary board meeting was to discuss candidates for LS polls