Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday said that he never anticipated someone like Ashok Chavan would take such a step reacting to the latter`s exit from the Congress party. He said that he was unaware of the circumstances that compelled Ashok Chavan to leave the Congress.

Ashok Chavan, also a former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, resigned from the party and his MLA position, citing personal reasons. “Unfortunate decision; never thought a person like him will take such a step,” Prithviraj Chavan said according to newswire PTI.

Speaking to reporters, Chavan said that he has not yet decided on joining the BJP or any other political party. Chavan, 65, conveyed his decision to the state Congress president Nana Patole and submitted his resignation to the assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.

Chavan declined to discuss internal party matters publicly and asserted that his resignation from the Congress is a personal decision. He emphasized that he has not influenced any Congress MLA regarding his decision and has not engaged with any political party regarding his future plans.

Regarding speculation about joining the BJP, Chavan stated that he is unfamiliar with the BJP`s working system and has not made any decision in that regard. He also refuted claims that the white paper presented in Parliament prompted his resignation, particularly concerning the Adarsh Building scam.

“I am not a person who would discuss the party`s internal matters publicly. I have not spoken to any Congress MLA about my decision. I have no such intention (influencing them),” he said.

Amid the buzz that Chavan will join the BJP, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters, “Aagey aagey dekho hota hai kya (wait and watch what happens).”

Reacting to Chavan`s departure, Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh commented without explicitly naming him, expressing disappointment over the exit of party members. He remarked on the opportunities created by their departure for those whose growth might have been stifled by their presence.

“Betrayers” don`t realise their exit opens up vast new opportunities for those whose growth they have always stunted, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said without naming Chavan.

“When friends and colleagues leave a political party that has given them much — perhaps much more they deserved — it is always a matter of anguish,” Ramesh said.

“But to those who are vulnerable, THAT Washing Machine will always prove more attractive than ideological commitment or personal loyalties,” he said in a post on X.

“These betrayers don`t realise that their exit opens up vast new opportunities to those whose growth they have always stunted,” Ramesh said.

Chavan`s exit from Congress comes days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.

Chavan hails from Nanded district in Marathwada region. His father, the late Shankarrao Chavan, was also the chief minister of Maharashtra. Ashok Chavan stepped down as chief minister in 2010 for his alleged involvement in Adarsh housing scam in Mumbai. He was also state Congress chief during 2014-19. (With inputs from PTI)

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