Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil took an apparent swipe at some of his colleagues by claiming the mass induction of leaders from other outfits had diluted the culture of the saffron party. The BJP, which seemed to be in a comfortable position ahead of the October Assembly polls, had seen a rush of leaders from parties like the Congress and NCP, causing heartburn among the older cadre.
However, contrary to expectations, the BJP's tally came down from 122 in 2014 to 105, and its long-time ally Shiv Sena walked out and joined the Congress-NCP to form a government under Uddhav Thackeray. Patil, MLA from Kothrud near Pune, was speaking at an internal party meeting in Pimpri Chinchwad on Thursday.
He said Bhosari BJP MLA Mahesh Landge had told him he had tears in his eyes when the party gave him the ticket for the Assembly polls. "He felt good that in this party, no one needs to keep pushing to get a ticket. That is the culture of our party and, somewhere, that culture was diluted due to the mega bharti (mass induction). We need to re-develop the earlier culture," Patil said.
He said people need to be told that the BJP still runs on "love, affection and merit". In an apparent swipe at a section of the party's leadership over ticket distribution, Patil quoted senior BJP leader V Satish who had said "don't give work to those who are close to your heart, give work to those who are close to the party".
Currently, Patil said, work was being given in the party to those who were near to the heart. A video recording of the function, aired on several media outlets, shows Patil saying that the system of giving tickets to those close to the heart must be stopped. Patil could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.