Ashok Chavan has resigned from the Congress, another heavyweight departure from the Maharashtra wing of the grand old party. In a letter to Congress leader Nana Patole, Chavan (65) said he was quitting the grand old party. He also submitted his resignation as MLA before Speaker Rahul Narwekar's meeting.
Several media reports claim that the former Congress leader is now being touted to join the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
On reports of Ashok Chavan joining the BJP, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Several Opposition leaders want to join the BJP. Many Congress leaders are in touch with us as they feel suffocated in their party.”
“I heard about Ashok Chavan through the media. But all I can say now is that several good Congress leaders are in touch with the BJP. The leaders who are connected to the masses feel suffocated in the Congress. I am confident that some big faces will join Congress. Aage aage dekhiye hota hai kya (wait and see what will happen in the coming days),” Fadnavis said.
Ashok Chavan joins the list of heavyweights quitting the Maharashtra Congress, which also includes Milind Deora and Baba Siddique. Earlier in January 2024, Congress leader Milind Deora also submitted his resignation as the chief member of Congress, ending his family's 55-year association with the party.
On Sunday, Ashok Chavan reportedly met AICC Maharashtra in-charge Ramesh Chennithala to discuss his concerns.
Ashok Chavan, who was chief minister of Maharashtra from December 2008 to November 2010, was considered one of the most influential Congress leaders in Maharashtra. He is the son of another former chief minister, Shankarrao Chavan.
On November 9, 2010, the Congress party had asked Ashok Chavan to resign over corruption allegations related to the Adarsh Housing Society scam. In the 2014 general elections, despite the allegations and the anti-incumbency wave, he won the Lok Sabha elections from his constituency Nanded by a comfortable margin.
Ashok Chavan lost his Nanded seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to the BJP's Pratap Patil Chikhalikar.
Ashok Chavan has held various positions in the party, including general secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Ashok Chavan's wife Ameeta Chavan is currently a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from the Bhokar constituency, which was previously represented by both Shankarrao Chavan and Ashok Chavan himself. The couple has two daughters Srijaya and Sujaya.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule said, “There is discord in the Maharashtra Congress, Ashok Chavan has resigned and there are internal fights in the Congress. Yes, if anyone wants to join the BJP, he is welcome.”
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Published: Feb 12, 2024 1:06 PM IST