Mumbai: The political rivalry between two party stalwarts Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde has forced the BJP high command to cancel Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s rally to be held on March 17 in Mumbai. However, the party leaders are citing the drought as a reason behind it.
Newly appointed BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi were to be felicitated at a function on March 17 in Mumbai. The Gujarat voters in Mumbai had decided to facilitate Modi for retaining the crown for third time in the state.
Maharashtra BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar and general secretary Vinod Tawde had requested to Rajnath Singh to cancel the rally citing the reason of severe drought in the state, while Shiv Sena and MNS have been organizing meetings in the drought affected areas.
Munde had termed Modi’s felicitation programme as a prestige issue for the party. Interestingly, key NDA ally and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is also going to hold ‘Adhikar Rally’ at Ram Lila Ground in Delhi on March 17 seeking special status to the state.
The political observers are also seeing BJP’s decision to cancel the rally as political rivalry between Modi and Nitish. Nitish has been inimical to Modi's prime ministerial aspirations.
Mungantiwar is considered to be close to Gadkari, while Mumbai BJP chief Rajpurohit is said to be in Munde camp. Had Modi’s rally succeeded, Rajpurohit’s political clout would have been consolidated in Mumbai BJP. It’s the reason, Gadkari camp managed to get cancelled Modi’s rally in Mumbai.