BJP crisis blows over, party concedes Munde demand

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) Senior Maharashtra BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who had offered to quit all party posts including general secretaryship on Sunday, today withdrew his resignation following an assurance by the party that it will replace Mumbai unit Chief Madhu Chavan.

With this, the political crisis, which had arisen in the party following Mr Munde's resignation, appears to have blown over.

Maharashtra BJP President Nitin Ghadkari told newspersons that new chief for the party's Mumbai unit would be chosen in consultation with Mr Munde and Mr Chavan.

Mr Munde was apparently unhappy over the appointment of Mr Chavan, party insiders said.

Mr Ghadkari said Mr Munde is ''our leader'' and the party will fight assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state under his leadership.

Earlier, Mr Munde, former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and the brother-in-law of late Pramod Mahajan, said he had withdrawn his resignation. He said he had some grievances which had been addressed by the party of which he had always been a dedicated worker.

He also scotched all rumours that he had plans to join any other party in the event the party leadership did not address his grievances. ''I have been in this party for the past 30 years and I at no point of time did ever think of joining any other party,'' he said.

An OBC leader, Mr Munde, earlier arrived here from Mumbai on summons from the party leadership and drove down to Leader of the Opposition L K Advani's residence where he held a one-on-one meeting with the former deputy prime minister.

Later, he went to party President Rajnath Singh's residence and clarified his position. At Mr Singh's residence, other party leaders from Maharashtra, including Mr Ghadkari, were also present.

Since the party had already discussed the issue with Mr Ghadkari and BJP leaders from Maharashtra, including Mr Ram Naik, who had arrived here yesterday, it did not take much time to resolve the matter. The meeting lasted about an hour.

In reply to a question, the party president admitted that it was the first time that there was a crisis in Maharashtra unit but it had been resolved amicably.

Sources said the party leadership had asked both Mr Ghadkari and Mr Munde to work in tandem in the state.

Eds: Here pick up suitably from earlier series.


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