In a big setback for the Congress in Maharashtra ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Monday resigned from the primary membership of the party.Notably, the development came days after former Maharashtra minister Baba Siddique joined Ajit Pawar’s NCP on Saturday, breaking his 48-year-long association with the Congress party.
The former Congress leader was reportedly unhappy with the Congress party’s decision in the state. According to sources, Chavan may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the coming days.
“I hereby submit my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress Party with effect from 12/02/2024 noon,” Chavan said in a statement.
This results in third major blow to the grand old party within just two months. On the other hand, some reports claim that Chavan will join the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) today itself.Meanwhile, several top BJP leaders have also arrived at the saffron party’s Mumbai Pradesh Office, sources reported.
The reasons behind his resignation are not yet clear and there is no official announcement made by the Congress leader about his willingness to join the BJP. Two other MLAs from Marathwada may also leave Congress with Chavan, according to local news reports.
Baba Siddique's Recent Exit From Congress
Chavan's exit comes just two days after Mumbai Congress leader and former minister Baba Siddique resigned from the grand old party and joined the Ajit Pawar-led NCP. Siddique joined the NCP in presence of NCP chief and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel and other party leaders on Feb 10.
Baba Siddique, who was a party loyalist through thick and thin for some 48 years, had announced his resignation on X (formerly Twitter) on February 8. "I joined the Indian National Congress Party as a young teenager and it has been a significant journey lasting 48 years… There’s a lot I would have liked to express but as they say, some things are better left unsaid," he said in a post while announcing his exit from the party.
Milind Deora Joins Shiv Sena
Another major blow for the Congress party was when the exit senior leader and ex-MP Milind Deora ended his ties with the grand old party to join the CM Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in January. Milind, son of late Union minister Murli Deora, who was voted to power four times, while he won twice from the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency exited from the party ending 55-year-long ties with Congress.