Congress veteran Ashok Chavan quits party

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

Mumbai, Feb 12 (PTI) In a setback to Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan resigned from the grand old party on Monday, amid speculation that he may join the BJP.


Chavan's exit from Congress came days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.

There was no confirmation either from Chavan or the BJP of reports that the 65-year-old leader will be fielded for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

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 said the decision to quit the Congress was a personal one, adding he will announce his next course of action in a day or two. “I have not yet made any decision to join BJP,” he added.

In a letter to state Congress president Nana Patole, Chavan said he was resigning as a primary member of the party. He also submitted his resignation as an MLA to assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.

Speaking to reporters, Chavan said, "I am not going to discuss anything happening in the Congress party on a public forum." Asked if he would join the BJP, Chavan said, "I haven't taken any decision yet on joining the BJP and don't know BJP's working system." He also said his decision to quit the Congress is a personal one and he does not want to ascribe any reason to it.


Chavan also refuted claims that the white paper tabled in Parliament prompted him to resign from Congress.

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.

There were reports since the last few months that Chavan would be quitting Congress, so the news of his resignation did not come as a total surprise to the state party leaders.


“Voters will teach those who deserted them a lesson,” said former CM Prithviraj Chavan. The senior Congress leader also said he was unaware of the compulsion due to which Ashok Chavan left Congress.

"This is an unfortunate decision. Never thought a person like him would take such a step," Prithviraj Chavan told reporters.

Chavan's exit from Congress comes days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.


Chavan hails from Nanded district in Marathwada region. His father late Shankarrao Chavan was also the chief minister of Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole rushed to Delhi, after Ashok Chavan's announcement of resigning from the Congress.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh without naming Ashok Chavan said that an exit by betrayers "opens up vast new opportunities to those whose growth they have always stunted".


"When friends and colleagues leave a political party that has given them much - perhaps much more (than) they deserved - it is always a matter of anguish," he said in a post on X.

"But to those who are vulnerable, THAT Washing Machine will always prove more attractive than ideological commitment or personal loyalties," he added.

"These betrayers don't realise that their exit opens up vast new opportunities to those whose growth they have always stunted," Ramesh said.

Asked about Chavan leaving the party, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said it is difficult these days to do politics while staying in the opposition.

Rubbishing speculation that he too will switch sides, Leader of Opposition in state assembly Vijay Wadettiwar of Congress said he has no plans to quit the Congress.

"I have been working with Ashok Chavan from 2006 and was twice a minister in his cabinet. He did not discuss anything with me. We do not know the reason. But the manner in which BJP is breaking parties, people have not liked this and they will give befitting reply in this election," he said.

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar said the BJP will pay a heavy price for practicing the politics of tod-phod (breaking parties).

"We have never seen such politics in the last seven decades. Now we see uncertainty and unprecedented politics in the state. The Marathi manoos does not endorse such politics," he said.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut expressed shock over Ashok Chavan's exit from the Congress.

"It is hard to believe that Ashok Chavan has joined the BJP. He was with us till yesterday and was holding discussions. Like Eknath Shinde and Ajit Pawar, will Chavan also stake claim on the Congress now and get the party symbol. In our country, anything can happen," Raut said.

Maharashtra Congress chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said, "It is the Adarsh turn for the party with difference. The people will give a befitting reply to the BJP is upcoming elections." PTI ND ASK RT GK BNM NSK VT VT