Mumbai: In a major setback for the Congress party ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party after resigning from the grand old party, according to his office.
Ashok Chavan resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party on Monday.
As per the sources, some MLAs and office bearers of the Congress party in the state are also likely to follow suit.
Chavan submitted his resignation to Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Nana Patole.
After quitting Congress, former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan is likely to join BJP today, says his office
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— ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2024
“I have resigned from the Assembly membership as an MLA. I have given my resignation to the Speaker. I have resigned from the Congress Working Committee and the Congress primary membership,” Chavan told reporters after resigning from Congress on Monday.
Meanwhile, several Congress leaders condemned the move, calling it a ‘dirty political’ game.
Party leader Prithviraj Chavhan said, “Our senior colleague Ashok Chavan has resigned from the party and also as the MLA. It’s a sad decision. This had been talked about for a long time. We didn’t think he would make this decision. He was made the state CM on two occasions. What went wrong, who was he upset about–only he will tell about this. This is very tragic. All members of the Congress Legislative Party are together. BJP leaders are spreading rumours that some people are in touch with them,” Chavan said while addressing the media.
“It is really surprising. This hasn’t happened in Maharashtra before. It is totally a dirty political game by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” he added.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh earlier took a swipe at the BJP, stating that the ‘washing machine’ of the party is very powerful.
“It is clear that the special washing machine functioning in our country is very powerful…The exit of some people doesn’t mean Congress will break…There is some sadness but this won’t affect the party,” he said.
Ashok Chavan was the Vice President and General Secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress Committee from 1986 to 1995.
He served the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for three terms, starting in 1999 and ending in May 2014.
He served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra State from December 8, 2008, to November 9, 2010. On November 9, 2010, the Congress Party asked him to resign from office over corruption allegations relating to the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
In the 2014 general elections, Chavan was elected from the Nanded constituency but lost the seat in 2019 Pratap Patil Chikhalikar of the BJP.
He is the third big name to desert the Congress ship in Maharashtra. First to go was former South Mumbai MP Milind Deora, followed by former MLA Baba Siddique.
Chavan, who represents Bhokar, Nanded, as an MLA, was reported to have severe differences with state party chief Nana Patole.