Who would have thought that the BJP would lose one of its senior most leaders just after it won a landslide victory in the elections this year? Barely days after he took charge as the Union Rural Development Minister, Gopinath Munde got involved in a car accident that took away his life. His sudden demise is a great loss to the BJP considering the party’s messy state of affairs in the state politics.
You can note that just a day before Munde died, the Shiv Sena party (BJP’s alliance partner) had announced Uddhav Thackeray as its CM candidate for Maharashtra for the Assembly polls, challenging the BJP’s decision to let Gopinath Munde contest for the same post.
Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut had revealed that the Shiv Sena and the BJP had a mutual understanding that while the prime minister would be from the latter, the chief minister for the state would be a candidate from the Shiv Sena.
The Shiv Sena has also attacked Munde’s chief ministerial ambitions, with several indicating that like NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Munde was still interested in Maharashtra politics, although he had shifted the base to Delhi.
The BJP and Shiv Sena alliance won 42 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As such, an announcement about a mutual CM candidate was awaited, with many expecting it to be someone from the BJP that had won 23 out of the 42 seats. However, the Shiv Sena shocked everyone by announcing Uddhav Thackeray’s candidature for the CM post before BJP could even come out with a solution.
The Shiv Sena also managed to win over 288 Assembly seats in Maharashtra while the BJP managed to win 100 seats. However, given the fact that the BJP performed spectacularly in the Lok Sabha polls as well as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favorable equation with the public, the BJP would most probably look out for a change in the seat sharing agreement between the Shiv Sena and the BJP.
Munde’s sudden death is definitely a blow for the BJP who relied on the former to bring the state’s political affairs under control. Munde was known to have very close ties with the Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray as well. He was also responsible for bringing together both parties for the alliance in Maharashtra. With him gone, the BJP would have to fill a huge void in both the state politics and its relationship with the Shiv Sena.
BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s sudden death has left the party shocked and in an immediate need to fill the void created in the Maharashtra state politics by his demise. Munde’s death came at the heels of the Shiv Sena’s announcement of letting Uddhav Thackeray contest the Assembly polls for the chief minister post this year. It needs to be noted as to how BJP would handle its equations with the Shiv Sena going forward.