Maha BJP meet ends, Munde wont leave party, says Oppn leader

Mumbai: Sulking BJP leader Gopinath Munde on Tuesday stayed away from a crucial meeting of party legislators, convened by Maharashtra unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar in the backdrop of the OBC leader`s "rebellion."

Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse, however, told reporters after the meeting that he was confident that Munde would not leave the party.

"I am confident Munde will never leave the party," he told reporters at Vidhan Bhawan here.

Asked if a resolution was sought to be tabled at the meeting, Khadse said the BJP state unit was "cohesive and united" and despite Munde`s recent moves "no such resolution was brought in the meeting and neither is there a need for it."

Nana Patole, a Munde supporter MLA, said the message inviting Munde for the meeting could not be conveyed. "When we noticed this, we decided to meet Munde," he said.

Accordingly, senior leaders left for Munde`s residence in Worli after the meeting, he added.

There were also reports that only Khadse, a Munde supporter, and Mungantiwar, said to be from the Nitin Gadkari camp, spoke at the meeting.

The meeting followed speculation that after failing to get his demands fulfilled by party leadership, Munde is on his way to join the Congress.

Munde is reportedly disgruntled after BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, once his junior in state unit, spurned the former`s demands to make him the Opposition leader in the State Assembly and to make supporter Pandurang Phundkar the state BJP president in place of Mungantiwar.