Rift in BJP: Sushma Swaraj to meet Gopinath Munde in Delhi today
New Delhi: Leader of opposition Sushama Swaraj has announced that she will be meeting Gopinath Munde at 3 pm in Delhi today. Speculations are strife about a rift within the BJP and Munde's absence at a major party meeting on Tuesday raised quite a few questions.
Munde, who is at loggerheads with BJP President Nitin Gadkari over unfulfilled demands, is in Delhi to meet senior BJP leader LK Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Sources said that Congress is likely to welcome Munde into the UPA fold with a cabinet berth.
Swaraj told members of the press that Munde himself would disclose what was discussed during the meeting later in the day.
Since Tuesday morning, Munde was busy holding marathon meetings with his supporters at his Mumbai residence, seeking their opinion on future course of action.
In the evening, he told the media: "The party has not yet resolved the issues, which I had raised. All options are open." But, he neither confirmed nor denied possibility of his quitting the BJP or even joining the Congress.
But, BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said: "The developments related to Munde are intra-party conflict. There is no question of Munde leaving the party."
State BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar, leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse and state legislature council chief Pandurang Phundkar met Munde in Mumbai and tried to persuade him against taking any extreme step.
When they reassured him that he was still their leader, Munde retorted: "I have no issues with any of you in the state. Whatever the decision, it will now be taken in Delhi."
Sources in the party said that the BJP's central leadership had genuinely tried to mollify Munde for the last three days.
"Advani had assured him that the 2014 state assembly elections would be held under his leadership. But they shot down his demand to appoint Phundkar in place of Mungantiwar as state party president. But when
Munde asked what was the guarantee that these promises would not be violated, Advani and Naidu got very upset," a party source said.
Sources also indicated that throughout the developments, BJP president Nitin Gadkari has maintained an uneasy calm. He had indicated that he would not utter a word and left it to the emissaries and Advani to find an amicable way out.