I never thought of joining the Congress: Munde
A visibly cheerful Gopinath Munde, Bharatiya Janata Party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, on his arrival in Mumbai, reiterated his decision to continue to be in the party. He lashed at his rivals for running a concerted campaign to defame him and said they stood exposed now. In an interview with Sanjay Jog, Munde spoke about the recent developments and his future plans
What led you to decide to remain in the BJP and not join the Congress party?
First of all, I must reiterate that I had never planned to leave the BJP and join the Congress party. I was in the BJP, I am in the BJP and I will continue to be in the BJP, for which I have given my blood to build it in the last 35 years. During the last four days, I held talks with L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Anant Kumar and Ram Lal. I never pleaded anything for myself but took up the woes of a large number of party workers. I am satisfied with my talks with party leaders. It is up to the party leadership to look into the issues raised by me.
Image: Gopinath Munde
'My rivals stand exposed'
But you demanded the post of the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra legislative assembly and also the party's state in-charge. Have these been turned down by the party's central leadership?
I never made these demands. Ironically, it was the handiwork of my rivals who ran a misinformation campaign by spreading such news to the press. The leader of opposition in the state assembly, Eknath Khadse, is doing a fabulous job. Neither I asked for my appointment as the in-charge of the party's Maharashtra unit. My rivals stand exposed and I do not want to name them. You all know. (laughs).
What happened to your meetings with Congress leaders Ahmad Patel, Mohan Prakash and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan?
I have never met Ahmad Patel or Mohan Prakash. This is all your creation based on the feed from my rivals. I have not held any meeting in the last two days with Chavan, too. I had never thought of joining the Congress party and, so, there was no question of failing in negotiating with the Congress party.
Image: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
'I plan to meet Gadkari'
Do you want the party leadership to initiate disciplinary action against your rivals in the party for their campaign?
I have not taken any names nor I have any plans to complain with the party leadership.
Are you now going to meet BJP president Nitin Gadkari?
Certainly, I plan to meet Gadkari. The timing will be decided soon.
What are your future plans?
I plan to hold a state-wide tour soon to hold meetings with party members. I will meet them and talk about further strengthening the party organisation in the state.
Image: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari