In yet another blow to the Congress’s Maharashtra branch months ahead of the Lok Sabha and state elections, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan announced his resignation on Monday. There were rumours that Ashok Chavan would become a member of the BJP.
In a letter, Ashok Chavan tendered his resignation to Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Pataole. Ashok Chavan met Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar earlier today. Since the meeting, Ashok Chavan has not been available to the media. Ashok Chavan and Rahul Narwekar’s meeting was confirmed.
“Today, i.e., on Monday, February 12, 2024, I have tendered my resignation as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 85-Bhokar Assembly Constituency to the Assembly Speaker Rahulji Narvekar,” Ashok Chavan said in a post on X, the former Twitter platform.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis responded, “Several leaders of the opposition want to join the BJP,” in response to questions regarding reports that Ashok Chavan might join the BJP. Since they feel stifled in their party, many Congress leaders have been in touch with us.
“Observe what transpires next; aage aage dekhiye hota hain kya,” Devendra Fadnavis declared during a news conference on Monday.
Three Congress MLAs—Subhash Dhote, Jitesh Antarpurkar, and Amar Rajurkar—are reportedly inclined to follow Ashok Chavan’s example, according to party insiders.
Who is Ashok Chavan?
The Marathwada region’s Nanded district is home to Ashok Chavan. Shankarrao Chavan, his late father, served as Maharashtra’s chief minister. 2010 saw Ashok Chavan resign from his position as chief minister due to allegations that he was involved in the Mumbai Adarsh housing fraud. From 2014 to 2019, he served as the chief of state Congress as well.
The resignation of the former chief minister of Maharashtra takes on significance in light of the recent splits of two prominent Congressmen, Baba Siddique and Milind Deora, from the party. While Milind Deora was admitted into the Shiv Sena, the political organisation led by Eknath Shinde, Baba Siddique joined the Ajit Pawar wing of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Zeeshan, the current MLA from Bandra East and the son of Baba Siddique, is expected to succeed his father.
“There is discord in the Maharashtra Congress; Ashok Chavan has resigned; and there are internal fights in the Congress,” asserted Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the president of the Maharashtra BJP. People are fleeing because there is no leader, and Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, is mistreating the OBC community. As a result, nobody wants to live with them. Indeed, everyone is allowed to join the BJP if they so choose.
Exit of Baba Siddique
Before joining the NCP, Baba Siddique claimed to have spoken with former Congress MP Priya Dutt and his son, Zeeshan Siddique, an MLA. Siddique, a well-known Muslim leader of the Mumbai Congress, formerly held a ministerial position in Maharashtra during the Congress-NCP alliance.
The NCP, under Ajit Pawar’s leadership, is in charge of both the BJP and the Shiv Sena-led Mahayuti administration. The 48-year-old Siddique senior announced last week that he was going to sever ties with the Grand Old Party.
“It has been a noteworthy 48-year journey for me to become a member of the Indian National Congress party when I was a youngster. With immediate effect, I hereby resign from my primary membership in the Indian National Congress Party (@INCIndia),” he declared.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst, Baba Siddique was praised widely for getting desperately needed medications to patients in need. The prominent politician is also renowned for throwing lavish “Iftar” gatherings that prominent Bollywood actors like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan attend.