Times of India
MUMBAI, Apr 21: Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who created a flutter in political circles by resigning from all posts in the party, on Monday, refused to go to Delhi to meet party high command.
He said that the party had not been functioning in a democratic manner which led him to resign.
Rattled by the sudden resignation of Munde, the BJP swung into action calling the party leader from Maharashtra as also his detractor Nitin Gadkari to Delhi for sorting out the differences in the state unit.
"The party had not been functioning in a democratic manner which was the reason for resignation from the post of general secretary," Munde told reporters at the airport.
"Now I will tour the state from April 25 as an ordinary party worker," Munde said.
Earlier, Munde was received by a large group of supporters including party leaders like former MP Kirit Somiaya, group party leader in legislative assembly Eknath Khadse, party leader in legislative council Pandurang Phundkar, former party president Prakash Mehta, who were present at the airport.
The leader was then accompanied by supporters to his residence in central Mumbai where he met with party colleagues. A large group of supporters also gathered at the leaders office in a nearby building.
Former Minister of State for Power Jaywantiben Mehta, who lives in the same building as Munde, met with the leader but refused to divulge the details of the meeting.
"He is not only a party leader of Maharashtra but the nation. We have been colleagues since 1980 when we became MLAs for the first time," she said.
"He has a major role to play in the party's growth in the state. I hope whatever issues he has with the leadership is sorted out at the earliest," she said.
Replying to queries, Mehta denied there was any rift in the party between Gujarati and Marathi party workers over the choice of Madhu Chavan as the BJP city unit president.
"Mundeji himself has clarified that he is not opposed to Madhu Chavan's appointment as the city unit chief. The party has always given opportunities to people on merit," she said.
Describing Munde's resignation as "unfortunate", Mehta said it gave an opportunity to other parties to take a dig at them.
The former minister also expressed confidence that any differences in opinion among party leaders would be sorted out at the earliest.