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Sulking Munde to attend BJP meet in Delhi

Last updated on: June 17, 2011 17:54 IST

'Will decide my future political course after Saturday's meeting'

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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde on Friday said he has decided to attend a meeting convened in Delhi to discuss his fate but indicated that he had no plans to join ally Shiv Sena and split the saffron alliance.

Ever since Munde supporter Yogesh Gogawale was sidelined for the post of Pune BJP president and Gadkari loyalist Vikas Mathkari was named instead, the Other Backward Class leader has been sulking, leading to speculation that he may be on the verge of leaving the party which he, with late brother-in-law Pramod Mahajan, helped grow in Maharashtra.

"Opposition leader in the assembly Eknath Khadse met me on Thursday and invited me for Friday's BJP meeting in Delhi. I have accepted the invitation. Senior leader Venkaiah Naidu also called me and directed me to attend the meeting," Munde told reporters in Mumbai.

"I will decide my future political course after tomorrow's meeting. I will seek some time to decide on what they (BJP leaders) have to say. Whatever I have to say, I will tell at the meeting," he said.

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Image: BJP leader Gopinath Munde
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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'Met Uddhav twice but he hasn't invited me to join SS'

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"Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray met me twice. In the four-hour discussions, Uddhav Thackeray never invited me to join Sena nor did I express such a desire," Munde said.

Asked if the option of going to another party was open, Munde said, "The options I have or I don't have, I will tell only after speaking with the party leadership."

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Image: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray

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'For past 18 days I've been listening to the pains of workers'

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"For the last 17 to 18 days, I was listening to feelings and sentiments and pains of workers. So far, I have not spoken in public on why I boycotted rallies," he said.

"I am pained. It is indicative of the pain suffered by thousands of workers," Munde said, in an apparent reference to why he has been sulking for the last few days.

Munde made it clear that he will not seek any post like Maharashtra in-charge from the leadership. "In tomorrow's meeting, I will not ask for any post from the leadership," he said.

On reports that he may join Sena, Munde said "I have not done anything that will be detrimental to the (Sena-BJP) alliance."

"After my boycott of the recent rallies involving BJP, Shiv Sena and Republican Party of India, several workers and leaders of other parties met me," he said.

On his recent meetings with leaders of Congress, Sena and Nationalist Congress Party, Munde said he was in politics for the last three decades so it is natural that he had contacts across political parties. "Those who met me tried to gauge my pains," he said.

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Image: Nitin Gadkari and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani wave to their supporters in New Delhi during a rally
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
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'No one from Maharashtra or BJP tried to find the reason of my pain'

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"No one from Maharashtra or central BJP met me or tried to gauge the reason for my pain," he added. "I will attend Saturday's meeting and put forth my pains," he said.

"In the past, when I was unhappy, Sena chief Bal Thackeray called me and told me to stay in BJP," Munde recalled. Even now, I will go and attend a meeting if called by Sena chief. These relations are beyond politics," he added.

Tomorrow's meeting is likely to be attended by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, senior leaders L K Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Khadse and state BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar.

 


Image: Sena chief Bal Thackeray

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