our years back, when I received the news of Gopinath Munde’s death, I was really not sure about the reasons given for his death. I saw his car, which was barely dented. Meanwhile, BJP Minister Harsh Vardhan gave a statement stating that Munde died due to cervical fractures as he lost 1-2 litres of blood. But there were no bloodstains or any such indications around him. There was no major external injury. He met with a road accident in the early morning of June 3, 2014, while on his way to Delhi Airport. He was going for his first official meeting after taking the post. The accident took place between Safdarjung Road and Prithviraj Road in New Delhi, where his car was hit by an overspeeding cab. He was immediately rushed to AIIMS hospital but later went into cardiac arrest. He was administered CPR but could not be resuscitated and was declared dead at 7.20 am, this is how the entire saga goes.
Later on, the Central Bureau of India took over the case and filed a charge sheet against the driver. The driver was granted bail initially, but later, a city court decided to not discharge the driver and held that there was “prima facie” evidence to try him for the offences, including rash driving and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. With time, the entire incidence went into cold storage, but Indian politics is cruel and here everything is possible. After four years of the death, now when one United States-based “cyber expert at a press conference in London made a sensational claim that Munde was murdered. The “cyber expert”, Syed Shuja alleged that the 2014 General Elections had been rigged. He had also asserted that Gopinath Munde was murdered because he knew about the tampering of the Electronic Voting Machines. According to him, Munde was eliminated to maintain this secret.
In 2014 elections, BJP got a huge mandate, people of Maharashtra were speculating that Munde would be the CM but Munde and Gadkari were given central cabinet ministry. Eknathrao Khadse, a senior leader of BJP, who had been in the BJP since the foundation of the party, then called the Janta Party, and has won six consecutive elections, representing the Muktainagar constituency of Jalgaon district until June 2016. He and Devendra Fadanvis were CM contenders. CM Devendra Fadnavis came into the limelight with the so-called expose of irrigation scam against NCP leaders. AAP leader Anjali Damania exposed the same scam. In a way Damania, the friend of Fadnavis helped him to earn some chances to be the CM contender. But when Fadanvis realised, Khadse was in consideration for the Maharashtra chief minister’s post, he and his friend Anjali Damania planned a strategy against Khadse till he resigns from BJP on the allegations of impropriety in a land deal of Pune. On the other hand, Shah and Modi had Fadnavis as their second choice. Gopinath Munde and Gadkari were two prominent leaders in BJP from Maharashtra after the death of Pramod Mahajan. Both Gadkari and Munde were given berths in the Union Ministry.
In Maharashtra BJP there were two camps – the Munde Camp and the other Gadkari Camp. Modi and Amit Shah had decided about Fadnavis being the CM after the Lok Sabha elections. Fadnavis has a clean image, it was decided way back that Devendra Fadnavis was going to be the Chief Minister. Munde was the biggest hurdle in the long-term strategies of Modi-Shah of controlling Maharashtra politics. Modi and Shah knew that in Lok Sabha they don’t need Munde. Look at the irony; the most important person who could have cried foul about Munde’s unnatural death would be Pankaja Munde, his eldest daughter. But she would have got nothing by doing so. Hence, she kept quiet by grabbing cabinet ministry and later was kept under control by using chikki scam. If you look at the Maharashtra politics and the opinion of local people about the political parties, they believe that parties do deal with each other and irrespective of whatever they may claim, they are all in it together when it comes to making money at public expense. Munde to that extent showed BJP in a different light since, he had friendly relations with people, he was not seen as someone colluding with opposition leaders and making money at public expense. This, when combined with his image of a mass leader who gives respect to his constituents and workers.
Munde was an architect of the social engineering formula by cobbling up the opposition ‘Mahayuti’ alliance that got 42 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He was the only person who could stop Sharad Pawar from conquering Maharashtra and also control Shah-Modi politics. His timely depart was a blessing in disguise for BJP and its CM candidates.
On the other hand, after Eknath Khadse’s resignation the assumed expose by Anjali Damania went in cold storage. Now there is no noise about it. For several months, Damania had been making allegations against Khadse; to which Khadse served defamation notice and also initiated criminal proceedings against her. Damania, an RTI activist and former AAP leader, but most of the time the attacks she chooses to favour Devendra Fadnavis. Some even allege that Fadnavis, Damania and Kejriwal have a bond and they strategically help each other for their personal gains.
Well! Let it be an accidence, attack or accusations, BJP’s senior and sensible leaders were thrown out of the league, the new age politicians can not guarantee any future to the party in the state of Maharashtra. In such a scenario, many interrogations remain silent. We don’t know who killed Munde, we don’t know why the expose saga stopped after the resignation of Khadse, we don’t know why Damania calls for selective attacks that go in favour of CM Fadanvis, we don’t know what is in the fate of BJP in Maharashtra in coming time!