Mumbai: Taking a dig at Ashok Chavan who resigned from Congress on Monday, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut wondered whether now the former Mahrasthra Chief Minister would stake a claim on the grand old party and its 'hand' symbol.
Drawing parallels with Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena) and his deputy Ajit Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party) who after splitting from their respective parties staked and won their claim to the Sena party symbol, Raut said that such a scenario was possible. "I can't believe it. Till yesterday they were together, discussing; today he left... Will Chavan, like Eknath Mindhe and Ajit Pawar, now claim Congress and take the 'hand' symbol? And will the Election Commission give them to him? Anything can happen in our country!," Raut said in a post on X.
Meanwhile Congress MP Manickam Tagore shared a snippet from the classic Hindi movie 'Sholay', in which Gabbar Singh, the character played by actor Amjad Khan is seen saying "Jo dhar gaya, sanjo mar gaya" (Whoever is afraid is considered dead). "True", wrote the Congress leader tagging Chavan's August 2023 post in which the former state congress chief expressed gratitude on being chosen as a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Amid speculations that Chavan could join the BJP, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said, "Several tall leaders of other parties want to join BJP. Especially, several Congress leaders are in touch with us because of the behaviour of the senior leaders. They are feeling suffocated in their party. Who all are in our contact that will be revealed soon. Aage aage dekhiye hota hain kya." Earlier in the day, Chavan submitted his resignation from the Congress party's primary membership to Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole.
Also, in a post on X, Chavan announced his resignation as MLA from Maharashtra Assembly.
"Today i.e. on Monday, February 12, 2024, I have tendered my resignation as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 85-Bhokar Assembly Constituency to the Assembly Speaker Rahulji Narvekar," Chavan said on the social media platform X.
Chavan who represents Bhokar, Nanded as an MLA was reported to have severe differences with state party chief Nana Patole.
Chavan is the third big name to desert the Congress ship in Maharashtra following the exit of former South Mumbai MP Milind Deora and former MLA Baba Siddique. The former MPCC president has also served as MP of Lok Sabha from 1987 to 1989 and was re-elected to the lower house in May 2014. He was the Vice President and General Secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress Committee during the period 1986 to 1995.
He served the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for three terms starting 1999 till May 2014.
He has served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra state from December 8, 2008, to November 9, 2010. On November 9, 2010, the Congress Party asked him to resign from office over corruption allegations relating to the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
In the 2014 general elections, Chavan was elected from the Nanded constituency but lost the seat in 2019 Pratap Patil Chikhalikar of the BJP.
Chavan is the son of Shankarrao Chavan, a former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Union Home Minister.