Maharashtra politics: Amid the buzz of joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who resigned from the Congress today, said that he has not made a decision regarding joining the ruling BJP. He mentioned that he will make a decision regarding his next political move within the next 48 hours.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai today, Chavan said, “I am not going to discuss anything happening in the Congress party on a public forum. I have submitted my resignation to the assembly speaker and have also resigned from the primary membership of the Congress.”
“I am not a person who would discuss the party’s internal matters publicly. I have not spoken to any Congress MLA about my decision. I have no such intention (influencing them),” he said.
Ashok Chavan on joining BJP
Asked about his next political move, the former CM said he would decide on it in the next two days. “I will tell you in 48 hours,” he said.
To a query on if he would join the BJP, Chavan said, “I haven’t taken any decision yet on joining the BJP, don’t know BJP’s working system.”
He also clarified that he has not been in contact with any political party regarding his future plans. Additionally, he emphasised that his decision to resign from Congress was a personal one, and he preferred not to attribute any specific reason to it.
Chavan also denied claims that his resignation from the Congress was prompted by the white paper tabled in Parliament. Notably, the white paper has mentioned the Adarsh Building scam, pertaining to a housing society in Mumbai, due to which Chavan had to step down as the chief minister of Maharashtra in 2010.
Ashok Chavan resigns
The former Maharashtra Chief Minister resigned from the party on Monday. In a letter to state Congress president Nana Patole, Chavan said he was quitting the ‘Grand Old Party’. He also submitted his resignation as an MLA to Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar. Chavan’s exit from Congress comes days after the departure of senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora.
Chavan was recently included in the Congress Working Committee (CWC). He is the son of the former Home Minister Shankarrao Chavan. Chavan represented the Nanded Lok Sabha constituency in 1987 and 2014 but lost the election in 2019 when he was defeated by BJP’s Prataprao Patil Chikhalikar. Chavan won the Mudkhed Assembly constituency in 1999 and 2004 and later Bhokar in 2009 and 2019.
According to sources, more than half a dozen Congress MLAs can also leave the Congress party after the resignation of Ashok Chavan. Many former MLAs and leaders supporting Chavan are also likely to join the BJP.
Chavan had succeeded Vilasrao Deshmukh as Maharashtra Chief Minister in December 2008 and was forced to resign in November 2010 in the wake of the Adarsh housing scam. He was president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) from 2014 to 2019.
Meanwhile, amid speculations of Chavan joining the ruling BJP, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters, “Let’s wait and watch what happens.”