Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde appealed to the Congress and NCP MLAs on Monday to exercise their conscience and vote against his nephew Dhananjay Munde in the Legislative Council bypoll. The BJP is supporting the candidature of Independent candidate Prithviraj Sambhaji Kakade for the contest against NCPs Dhananjay Munde. The bypoll will take place on September 2.
The election was necessary following the resignation of Dhananjay Munde from the BJP seat in July. He joined the NCP last year following differences with his uncle and political mentor Gopinath Munde. Dhananjay was upset as Munde had taken the decision to promote his daughter Pankaja Munde-Palve as his political heir instead of him and fielded her in the 2009 Assembly elections.
Dhananjay said: I am confident of winning the election. The NCP leadership is supporting me. And they have ensured I will get through smoothly.
The number game is clearly in favour of Dhananjay. Members of the Assembly vote for the council elections to determine the poll outcome. The Maharashtra Assembly has a total strength of 288 seats. The Congress and NCP,together with Independents and smaller parties,claim the support of 179 MLAs,while the BJP claims to have the support of 109 MLAs.
In a candid admission,a BJP leader said: The Congress-NCP combine is way ahead of the BJP in the number game. It will be difficult to defeat Dhananjay in the council bypoll.
Mundes attempt is to make some of the ruling alliance members defect in favour of Kakade to send across a message to the Congress-NCP combine. I leave it to the individual members to heed to their intelligence and conscience.