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Munde speech causes rift in BJP

The united Shiv Sena-BJP front presented on Sunday at the Akhil Bharatiya Bramhin Mahasabha function may have given some nervous moments to rival parties,but the BJP is facing a factional tussle in Pune.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune |
January 6, 2009 12:22:10 am

3 potential candidates on dais,one gets leader’s praise,other two ignored

The united Shiv Sena-BJP front presented on Sunday at the Akhil Bharatiya Bramhin Mahasabha function may have given some nervous moments to rival parties,but the BJP is facing a factional tussle in Pune.

As per the seat-sharing arrangement of the saffron alliance,Pune Lok Sabha seat will be fought by the BJP. The probable candidates,Anil Shirole,Vikas Mathkari and Anna Joshi also shared the stage at at Sunday’s function. But in his address,BJP national general secretary Gopinath Munde mentioned Shirole and skipped the other two in the reckoning.

This sent a cheer among Shirole’s followers,while the supporters of Mathkari and Joshi sulked. Mathkari himself played it down. “There were too many on the dais. It was not possible for him to mention everyone. Nothing should be read from it,” he said.

In fact,Munde,while mentioning the names of Sena leaders,the BJP city chief Girish Bapat and Shirole,had said,“The rest on stage should consider I have mentioned their names.”

Mathkari said,“I am not complaining. I don’t think it will have any bearing on deciding the candidate.”

“The selection process will begin in a few days and I am set to stake claim,” said Mathkari,who is known to be a supporter of BJP state chief Nitin Gadkari while Shirole is seen as a close aide of Munde.

Local BJP leaders said that the mention of only Shirole had not gone down too well with the other two probable candidates.

The saffron alliance would contest under the leadership of Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and Munde,a local BJP leader said. “The appearance of both leaders together,along with the local leaders was happening after a long time in the city. The mention of only Shirole in presence of the Sena executive president would definitely work in favour of Shirole.”

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