Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan resigned from the party on Monday. He is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 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. Chavan's exit from Congress comes days after the departure of senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora.
Amid the buzz that Chavan will join the BJP, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters, “Aagey aagey dekho hota hai kya (wait and watch what happens)."
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.
Senior Congress leader Milind Deora, Baba Siddique join NDA
Deora's family has been associated with Congress for over five decades and his father Murli Deora was one of the tallest leaders of the state. Former Maharashtra minister and senior Congress leader Baba Siddique, who ended his association with the Congress after nearly five-decade recently, joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the presence of Ajit Pawar in Mumbai on Saturday. Siddique had quit the Congress, ending his 48-year-long relationship with the party, on February 8. Though he did not cite any reason for his decision to quit, he had said that there was a lot to express but "some things are better left unsaid", in an apparent dig at the party.
Adarsh housing scam
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.