Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, amidst swirling speculations about his potential switch to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), announced on Monday that he would disclose his future political course within 48 hours. Chavan, a former Congress leader, tendered his resignation from the Congress party's primary membership earlier in the day.
"I have resigned from my position as an MLA in the Assembly. I have submitted my resignation to the Speaker. Additionally, I have stepped down from the Congress Working Committee and relinquished my primary membership in the party. As of now, I haven't made any decision to join another party. I will reveal my stance on joining a party in the next two days," Chavan informed reporters post his resignation from the Congress. When pressed about the possibility of him joining the BJP, the former Maharashtra CM responded, "I will make my decision known within 48 hours." Chavan clarified that he has not engaged in any discussions with political parties regarding his future course.
Furthermore, he asserted that he is not someone to openly discuss the internal matters of the party. "I haven't communicated my decision to any Congress MLA. I have no intention of influencing them," he emphasized. Chavan submitted his resignation to Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole. In his resignation letter, Chavan mentioned his status as a former MLA. A prominent figure in Maharashtra politics, Chavan previously served as an MP of Lok Sabha from 1987 to 1989, and later from May 2014. He held positions as Vice President and General Secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress Committee from 1986 to 1995. Chavan served in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for three terms from 1999 until May 2014. He also held the office of Chief Minister of Maharashtra from December 8, 2008, to November 9, 2010. However, he was compelled to resign due to corruption allegations linked to the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
In the 2014 general elections, Chavan secured victory from the Nanded constituency but lost the seat to Pratap Patil Chikhalikar of the BJP in 2019. He hails from a notable political lineage, being the son of Shankarrao Chavan, a former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Union Home Minister. Chavan's potential defection would mark the third significant departure from the Congress ranks in Maharashtra. Prior exits include former South Mumbai MP Milind Deora, followed by former MLA Baba Siddique.
Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, when asked about Chavan's potential switch to the BJP, offered a cryptic response, hinting at a wave of leaders from other parties seeking to join the BJP due to dissatisfaction within their ranks. He hinted at forthcoming developments, stating, "Wait and watch what unfolds." Chavan, representing Bhokar, Nanded as an MLA, was reportedly at odds with state party chief Nana Patole.