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Did Ashok Chavan express helplessness before quitting Congress?

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Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
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In this July 20, 2017, file photo, then Congress MP Ashok Chavan at Parliament House in New Delhi

Ashok Chavan (File photo)

New Delhi: Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan had explained his reasons for leaving the Congress to party president Mallikarjun Kharge and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi, well-placed sources told NewsDrum. 

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Chavan had met the two during his last visit to Delhi on Saturday. In fact, he attended a strategy meeting of the party on Sunday as well.

The sources said Chavan expressed his helplessness in continuing in the Congress, claiming that he was being pressurised by various quarters to quit the party. 

Unlike others who quit the Congress in the recent past, Chavan's resignation was brief, informing that he has resigned from the basic membership of the party. Prior to him, all those who left the Congress either blamed the party leadership, especially Rahul Gandhi, for their exit and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for the country. 

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The sources further said that there were attempts to persuade him to take back his resignation. However, he refused to do so. 

Political circles in Maharashtra had been abuzz for a long time now that Chavan is on his way out. The speculation intensified after he along with seven other Congress legislators did not participate in the trust vote sought by the Eknath Shinde government in July last year as they failed to arrive on time in the assembly complex. 

In between, the Congress tried to placate him. He was inducted in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest decision-making body, in August last year. 

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But his irreconcilable differences with Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole were far from over. 

Chavan's exit is a huge setback for the Congress given that he was one of the few leaders who funded the party at a time when the organisation is facing a massive resource crunch. 

He was also the only Congress leader with pan-Maharashtra acceptance and wielded considerable political clout in the Marathwada region.

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