Mumbai: Ashok Chavan has stepped down from his Congress party membership and as an MLA in anticipation of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. There is speculation that the BJP may nominate him for the Rajya Sabha. Chavan, who recently interacted with the media, expressed, "I have resigned, and not everything requires detailed explanation. I will take the necessary time to announce my next steps." Reflecting on his departure from the Congress, he stated, "I have resigned from the Congress party assembly membership, including the Congress Working Committee and Primary Membership Legislature Congress Party. I have diligently served the party without harboring any particular sentiments towards anyone. Now, I will carefully determine the direction and my political role in the coming days."
When questioned about the possibility of joining the BJP, Chavan responded, "I worked sincerely during my tenure in Congress, and my decision to join a new political party will be made in the next day or two."
Ashok Chavan clarified that he is not familiar with the working system of the BJP and has not made a decision to join the party yet. He emphasized that he will reveal his political stance in the next two days. Despite Chavan's response, Devendra Fadnavis made a suggestive statement, saying, "Aage Aage Dekho Hota Hai Kya". This has fueled speculation that Ashok Chavan might be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
When asked about the reason for leaving the Congress party, Chavan stated that not everything requires a specific reason. He highlighted his longstanding dedication to the Congress but expressed a desire to explore other options, leading to his resignation. During his media interaction, Chavan faced repeated inquiries about whether he discussed these matters with Rahul Gandhi. However, he did not provide a direct response, choosing instead to shake his head in the negative, sparking further discussion about his intentions.
Ashok Chavan affirmed that he has not communicated with any MLA after his resignation. The unfolding events have left the future direction of Ashok Chavan uncertain, making it a matter of keen interest to observe the decisions and steps he takes in the coming days.
Today, two former Congress corporators officially joined the BJP, as announced by Devendra Fadnavis in a press conference. Fadnavis welcomed them, mentioning an influx of leaders into the BJP amid discord within the Congress. Responding to questions about Ashok Chavan's exit, Fadnavis hinted at more Congress leaders considering a shift to the BJP, saying, "Age Age Kekhiye Hota Hai Kya!"
Following former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's resignation, the Congress expressed disappointment, stating that it is always disheartening when colleagues leave the party after receiving significant opportunities. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh shared his sentiments on social media, emphasizing that some individuals may find personal gains more appealing than ideological commitment or loyalty. Ramesh also noted that such departures create new opportunities for others.
The speculations about Chavan joining the BJP, along with a group of 10-12 MLAs, have intensified. This development follows the recent resignation of another senior Congress leader, Baba Siddiqui, who joined the NCP. Chavan's exit marks the third high-profile departure from the Maharashtra Congress, with Milind Deora having joined the Shiv Sena last month after resigning from the grand old party.
Notably, Maharashtra seemed to be the only state whre it appeared that the opposition alliance was successful. With the advent of consolidation of the MVA and the Vanchit, the opposition in the state had gone stronger. Also, the recent opinion polls revealed that the Congress would be winning the highest number of seats in the alliance. Despite these positive signs for the MVA and particularly the Conghress, exodus of the Congress leaders narrrate a completely different version of the ground reality. Congress leaders leaving the party and joining the NDA alliance partners like NCP (which has officially become Ajit Pawar's party) and Shivsena or directly the big brother "BJP" indicate that there is an undercurrent for the NDA which could not have been assessed by the surveyers.