As core committee of BJP meets today in Mumbai, rival groups in party expected to signal truce keeping in mind upcoming PMC, PCMC elections

The ongoing cold war between the rival city BJP factions led by party national president Nitin Gadkari and senior leader Gopinath Munde is likely to end soon as the core committee, comprising 15 members from each group, is set to meet in Mumbai to bury the hatchet today. 

Friends again? BJP factions led by party national president Nitin Gadkari 
and senior leader Gopinath will take part in a meeting in Mumbai today. 
File pic 

According to political observers, the veteran leaders have decided to exchange olive branches keeping in mind the ensuing civic polls in Pune, and Pimpri-Chinchwad. BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar, who is playing peacenik, has organised the meeting to settle the issues between the factions. The meeting will be held at the residence of Eknath Khadse, opposition leader in the assembly.

The rift between the bigwigs started with the appointment of BJP leader Vikas Mathkari as party city chief, a close aide of Gadkari, two years ago. Munde supporters claimed that Mathkari was selected as party city chief overlooking the candidacy of Yogesh Gogawale, a confidant of Munde. 

According to the political observers, the BJP leaders have buried the hatchet for good. If the rival factions continue their ego clash, the party is more likely to put up a poor show in the upcoming civic elections. "I hope this meeting helps boost the party's democratic structure where every decision is taken unanimously," said Gogawale after receiving an invitation for the Mumbai meeting yesterday. 

"It is a positive development. It will help us prepare for the upcoming civic polls in the city," Gogawale added. Party leaders Anil Shirole and Dilip Kamble, MLA Madhuri Misal and BJP leader in PMC Mukta Tilak -- all from the Munde faction -- will also participate. From the Gadkari camp, BJP city chief Vikas Mathkari, MLA Bhimrao Tapkir and Girish Bapat will attend the meeting. "The agenda of the meeting is confidential but issues that have created a rift in the party will surely be discussed in the meeting," said party leader Anil Shirole, adding the meeting would also give a much-needed impetus to the candidate selection process.