Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan is likely to join the BJP today in Mumbai, a day after he resigned from the Congress delivering a major blow to the party in the state ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election which Congress will be fighting as part of INDIA bloc with Uddhav Sena and Sharad Pawar’s NCP. On Monday, Chavan did not specify his future plan and asserted that he was not in talks with any political party but said that he would announce his next step within 48 hours. Speculations were rife that he would join the BJP, but Chavan denied a specific BJP link on Monday and said he did not decide anything.
While Maharashtra Congress has been witnessing big-ticket exits, this is the first that would help BJP directly as Milind Deora and Baba Siddique chose BJP’s allies in Maharashtra — Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP — but not BJP itself.
Rajya Sabha seat for Ashok Chavan?
After Ashok Chavan’s resignation, it was speculated that he might get a Rajya Sabha berth from the BJP. Uddhav Thackeray said it would be disrespectful to martyred soldiers if Chavan is sent to the Rajya Sabha. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier gone to Nanded (Chavan’s home district) and spoken about corruption committed by Ashok Chavan. They had said Chavan disrespected families of the martyred soldiers…But if the prime minister sends him (Chavan) to Rajya Sabha, it will amount to disrespecting our soldiers,” Uddhav said.
“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. I have not decided to join any party. I will clear my stand on joining a party after two days,” Chavan told reporters after resigning from Congress.
Congress in a huddle after Ashok Chavan’s resignation
Ashok Chavan’s resignation caught the Congress unawares and now many MLAs are likely to follow Chavan. Maharashtra Congress in-charge Ramesh Chenniyhala has called for a key meeting of the party leaders in Mumbai. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said Ashok Chavan was not happy with the working style of one of the Congress leaders. The Congress leader in question is Nana Patole.