Congress In Turmoil: Ashok Chavan Joins BJP? How His Exit Will Impact Party In Maharashtra

Ashok Chavan is the third top leader of the Congress after Milind Deora and Baba Siddique who quit the grand old party within a month. He joined Bharatiya Janata Party today at the party's office in Mumbai.
Ashok Chavan

Forer Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan (File image)

Photo : BCCL
Mumbai: In a big blow to Congress in Maharashtra ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, former state chief minister Ashok Chavan on Monday quit the grand old party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party today at the party's office in Mumbai. Notably, Chavan is the third top leader of the Congress after Milind Deora and Baba Siddique who quit the grand old party within a month.
However, after resigning from the Congress, Chavan refused to divulge his future plans on Monday.
What's next for Chavan?
Earlier on Monday, the former Congress leader gave no confirmation regarding this. "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 Congress primary membership," he told reporters.
When directly asked about his plans of joining the BJP, he said, "I will tell you in 48 hours." The former Maharashtra CM also clarified that at present he is not in touch with any political party. Chavan submitted his resignation to Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole.
Sources told Times Now, that Ashok Chavan wanted to join BJP much before and wanted a senior cabinet berth in the Maharashtra Government. However, Devendra Fadnavis was against it as he would have become fourth senior leader in the government and it would have made the Congress lobby in BJP strong.
Now, Ashok Chavan is likely to be given a Rajya Sabha seat. He took mandatory clearance from the Speaker with no pending government dues on him, said sources.
How Chavan's Exit would impact Congress in upcoming polls?
Last week, former Congress MLA Baba Siddique also resigned from the party. Meanwhile, former Lok Sabha MP Deora joined the BJP last month. The exit of three senior leaders from the party is likely to hamper Congress electorally.
Political analyst Tehseen Poonawala termed Chavan's exit as a "terrible blow" for the Congress. "Terrible blow to Congress. Ashok Chavan is a mass leader and former Maharashtra CM, Congress will suffer electorally," he said.
Earlier, talking to news agency ANI, Poonawala said that Shiv Sena (UB) leader Sanjay Raut occupying the face of the Maharashtra opposition alliance is the main reason for the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi and the INDIA Bloc in the state.
As per the Times Now - Matrize-NC Survey, in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is likely to get 39 seats out of 48, while the opposition's MVA is expected to bag only nine seats.
Matrize Survey:
Reactions of Congress leaders:
Reacting to Chavan's exit, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan called it a "sad decision'. "Our senior colleague Ashok Chavan has resigned from the party and also as MLA. It's a sad decision. This was being talked about for a long time. We didn't think he would take this decision.," the Congress leader stated.
"He was made CM on two occasions. What went wrong, who was he upset about - only he will tell about this. This is very tragic. All members of the Congress Legislative party are together. BJP leaders spreading rumours that some people are in touch with them," he added.
Maharashtra CLP leader Balasaheb Thorat said that the party would issue a whip. Meanwhile, the Congress CLP meeting has been called on February 14 and 15.
End of Article
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