October 23: A potential crisis in Maharashtra BJP over
the choice of leader for the post of chief minister
seems to have blown over today with Union minister Nitin
Gadkari saying he has no differences with his colleague
Devendra Fadnavis, considered as a front-runner for the
post, and is happy in Delhi.
the backdrop of a chunk of BJP legislators from Vidarbha
rooting for Gadkari to don the mantle as first chief
minister of the saffron party, Fadnavis and Gadkari met
twice in the day today.
have no differences. My political guru is Devendra's
father Ganghadharrao Fadnavis who was an MLC while I was
instrumental in bringing Devendra into politics,"
Gadkari said after Fadnavis called on him at his
residence in Mahal area in the morning.
to sources, the closed door meeting between Gadkari and
Fadnavis apparently sealed the deal in favour of the
am happy in Delhi. Fadnavis is my colleague and came to
meet me on Diwali," Gadkari told reporters when
asked whether he intends to return to state politics.
Fadnavis has maintained that his meeting with Gadkari
was to extend Diwali greetings, the duo met again at
BJP's regional office in Dhantoli area, with some BJP
leaders and office-bearers in attendance, in late
sources said that the central leadership wanted to nip
the feud between the two leaders from Nagpur in bud and
might have asked Fadnavis to visit Gadkari.
Gadkari had earlier clarified his stand about not
returning to state politics, saying it was for the BJP's
central leadership to decide and that he would accept
any responsibility given to him by the party, a group of
39 newly-elected BJP MLAs from Vidarbha region had met
him here on Tuesday and pushed for him to be made the
present at the Dhantoli office, where Gadkari and
Fadnavis stayed for some 15 minutes for Laxmi Pujan,
said that they got clear indications that Fadnavis will
emerge as a consensus choice for the coveted post.
about Fadnavis being the choice of the top party
leadership for the CM's chair started when Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, during one of his rallies in
run-up to state Assembly elections, had described
Fadnavis "as Nagpur's gift for Maharashtra".
a group of 39 newly-elected BJP MLAs from Vidarbha
region met Gadkari here on Tuesday and demanded that he
be made the state's CM, Nagpur-East MLA Krishna Khopde
had yesterday offered to quit and vacate his seat to
pave way for his mentor Gadkari.
two more MLAs - Sudhakar Kolhe (Nagur-South) and Sameer
Meghe (Hingana) - also offered to resign from their
respective seats to pave way for the Union
five independent MLAs -Vinayak Patil (Ahmednagar),
Shirish Choudhary (Amalner), Ganpat Gaikwad (Kalyan-East),
Mahesh Landge (Bhosari) and Ravi Rane (Badnera) - met
both Gadkari and Fadanvis separately yesterday to offer
support if the Chief Minister is chosen from Vidarbha
senior BJP leaders and Gadkari acolytes Sudhir
Mungantiwar and Vinod Tawde had raised their pitch in
favour of Gadkari, former national president of BJP,
another senior leader Eknath Khadse expressed his
displeasure over the "pressure tactics" of
has emerged as the single largest party in recently held
Maharashtra elections pocketing 123 seats, including one
won by its ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, but has fallen
short of forming government of its own as it faces the
shortfall of 22 MLAs in the 288-member House.
Sharad Pawar-led NCP has extended "unconditional
outside support" to BJP for forming government, the
party has not taken a call on it as its estranged ally
Shiv Sena is coming around for rapprochement.
BJP will take call on its Legislature Party leader, who
will be its chief minister, after Diwali with senior
party leader Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra Observer J P
Nadda scheduled to visit Mumbai. (PTI)