Ashok Chavan follows Milind Deora, and Baba Siddique; quits Congress before Lok Sabha elections
Ashok Chavan on Monday quit the Congress, amid speculation that he is veering towards BJP. Chavan’s exit from Congress comes days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.
Ashok Chavan has resigned from Congress, in yet another heavyweight exit from the Maharashtra wing of the grand old party. In a letter to state Congress president Nana Patole, Chavan (65) said he was quitting the grand old party. He also submitted his resignation as an MLA to assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.
Several media reports have claimed that the former Congress leader is now touted to join Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
On reports of Ashok Chavan joining BJP, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "Several leaders of opposition want to join the BJP. Many Congress leaders are in touch with us because they feel suffocated in their party".
"I heard about Ashok Chavan from the media. But the only thing I can say now is that several good leaders from Congress are in touch with the BJP. Those leaders who are connected with the masses are feeling suffocated in Congress. I am confident that some big faces will join Congress. Aage aage dekhiye hota hai kya (wait and watch what will happen in the days to come)", Fadnavis said.
Ashok Chavan joins the list of heavyweight exits from Maharashtra Congress that also includes Milind Deora, and Baba Siddique. Earlier in January 2024, Congress leader Milind Deora also submitted his resignation from the primary membership of Congress, bringing an end to his family’s 55-year association with the party.
On Sunday, Ashok Chavan reportedly met AICC in-charge for Maharashtra, Ramesh Chennithala, to discuss his concerns.
Ashok Chavan, who served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from December 2008 to November 2010, was considered one of the most influential leaders of the Congress in Maharashtra. He is the son of another former Chief Minister, Shankarrao Chavan.
On 9 November 2010, the Congress Party had asked Ashok Chavan to resign from office over corruption allegations relating to Adarsh Housing Society scam. In the 2014 general elections, despite the allegations and anti-incumbency wave, he won the Lok Sabha election from his Nanded constituency with a comfortable margin.
Ashok Chavan lost his Nanded seat in the 2019 Lok sabha election to Pratap Patil Chikhalikar of the BJP.
Ashok Chavan's wife, Ameeta Chavan, is currently the member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Bhokar constituency which has previously been represented by both Shankarrao Chavan and Ashok Chavan himself. The couple has twin daughters Srijaya and Sujaya.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule said, "There is discord in Maharashtra Congress, Ashok Chavan has resigned, and there are internal fights in Congress. Yes, if anyone wants to join BJP then they are welcome."
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