Ashok Chavan quits Congress, says ‘no immediate plans to join BJP’ | India News

MUMBAI: In a major jolt to the crisis-ridden Congress in Maharashtra ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly elections this year, former chief minister Ashok Chavan (65) quit the party on Monday amid reports that he may join the BJP, reports Prafulla Marpakwar.
While Chavan’s exit is the third in quick succession after those of ex-LS MP Milind Deora and ex-Bandra MLA Baba Siddique, it is a far bigger setback for the Congress given his bona fides as a veteran. He was CM twice between 2008 and 2010 and is a powerful and influential Maratha leader with a big following in the Marathwada region, largely owing to the goodwill enjoyed by his father S B Chavan, who was also CM twice and was Union home minister.
Chavan was directly involved in seat-sharing talks with NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) and Shiv Sena (UBT) for the coming LS polls. Chavan denied he would soon join the BJP and may be BJP nominee for the February 27 Rajya Sabha elections or Lok Sabha elections. “Immediately, I have no plans to join the BJP, there is no offer. I will take a decision on the future course of action in the next two days,” he said.
There had been speculation for some time that Chavan may be on his way out of the Congress, but he had earlier strongly denied all such reports. His exit has left the party without any prominent face in the Marathwada region. While the Marathawad Congress unit was stunned by Chavan’s decision, according to the senior leadership of the party, they had sensed it was on the cards.
On Monday Chavan, 5-term MLA and elected from Bhokar constituency in Nanded district in 2019, resigned from the assembly, the Congress Working Committee and the primary membership of the party.

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