Maharashtra Deputy CM Fadnavis extends a warm welcome to former CM Ashok Chavan as he joins the BJP
February 14, 2024

Maharashtra Deputy CM Fadnavis extends a warm welcome to former CM Ashok Chavan as he joins the BJP

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Amidst the presence of prominent leaders such as Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP State president Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the 65-year-old was cordially received at the BJP office in south Mumbai. Expressing his sentiment, the second-generation Nanded stalwart marked this occasion as the genesis of a new political voyage. “Today marks the commencement of a fresh chapter in my political journey as I join the BJP.

I am hopeful that together, we will diligently work towards the progressive development of Maharashtra,” he conveyed. Alongside him, his trusted confidant Amar Rajurkar, who resigned as an MLC on Monday, also embraced the saffron party on Tuesday.

Mr. Chavan, son of the former Union Defence Minister and two-time Maharashtra Chief Minister Shankarrao Chavan, reiterated his commitment to the inclusive principles of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” advocated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He pledged to adhere to the party’s directives and contribute constructively to the nation’s growth trajectory.

Amidst accusations of not opposing PM Modi, the former Congressman emphasized his commitment to positive politics and expressed gratitude towards Mr. Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president JP Nadda, Mr. Fadnavis, and others. Refraining from discussing communication with senior Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, he underscored his readiness to comply with the BJP’s directives without any conditions, stating his departure from the Congress was a personal decision.

Reports indicate that Mr. Chavan met with party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Ms. Gandhi to inform them of his decision, citing pressure from the Enforcement Directorate. Resigning from the Congress and as an MLA, he hinted at joining the BJP amidst speculation of securing a Rajya Sabha berth before the nomination filing deadline. His exit is viewed as a significant setback for the Congress, with AICC Maharashtra in-charge Ramesh Chennithala criticizing him for leaving the party. Defending himself against Adarsh Housing Society scam allegations,

Mr. Chavan pledged his commitment to the BJP’s development goals in the State. In a light-hearted moment, he mistakenly referred to Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar as ‘Mumbai Congress president’, quickly corrected by Mr. Fadnavis. Mr. Fadnavis commended Mr. Chavan’s entry, stating that discussions with the central leadership will determine his role in the party.

Criticising the Congress’ internal environment as chaotic, he urged the party to introspect. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray criticized Mr. Chavan’s decision, suggesting he should have visited farmers affected by unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm in Marathwada instead.

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