Wilting lotus in choppy waters

The recent developments in within the state's BJP unit do not augur well for the lotus-Sena alliance that has been ruling the roost for the past two-and-a-half decades. The cracks and fissures are visible clearly.

Just after the BMC polls were announced, BJP workers ransacked their local offices, and roughed up their own office bearers. This was a first for the workers of a party who usually work as a disciplined force.

The recent incident -- where city unit chief Raj Purohit's face was missing on a booklet cover -- didn't convey a picture of unity either. Unable to digest the omission, Purohit shot off a resignation latter to the party's high command.

State-in-charge Venkaiah Naidu had to fly down to Mumbai to resolve matters and address the city unit. Whether he succeeded in addressing the problems plaguing the party is another question.

Once nurtured and developed by stalwarts like Vasantrao Bhagwat, Rambhau Mhalgi, Ram Kapse, Ram Naik, Jayawantiben Mehta, Premkumar Sharma and Ramdas Nayak, BJP was a force to reckon with in the metropolis.

The organisation gave a voice to the middle-class Mumbaikar, and managed to outplay the wiliest of political opponents -- like Vasantdada Patil and Sharad Pawar. 

Inexorably, however, the party began to lose face, especially after the shocking and controversial demise of Pramod Mahajan at the hands of his own brother.

Compounding the crisis, party stalwart Gopinath Munde received a severe blow a few days back, when his elder brother Panditanna joined the NCP, and his nephew also spoke out against the party. Family matters will surely keep Munde away from the city affairs for a while. Who will step in to steer this tempest-tossed vessel?

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