'Beginning of new career': Ashok Chavan joins BJP
February 13, 2024  13:47
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Mumbai on Tuesday, a day after quitting the Congress.

Chavan (65) was inducted into the BJP at the party office in Mumbai in the presence of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Mumbai party unit head Ashish Shelar and cabinet minister Girish Mahajan.

"Today is the beginning of my new political career," Chavan told reporters earlier in the day.

Asked if he had received any calls from senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Chavan evaded a reply.

Former Congress MLC Amarnath Rajurkar and several supporters of Chavan from his home district Nanded in Marathwada came to Mumbai and gathered at the BJP office in south Mumbai.

Ashok Chavan, the son of former CM S B Chavan, on Monday underscored that his choice to depart from the Congress was independent and refrained from attributing specific reasons for his exit.

His exit from the Congress came days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.

Ashok Chavan stepped down as the chief minister in 2010 for his alleged involvement in Adarsh housing scam in Mumbai.

He is an accused in the Adarsh housing society scam wherein a 31-storey posh building in south Mumbai was constructed allegedly on land owned by the Defence Ministry without getting the requisite permissions and clearances.

The backdrop of the Adarsh Building scam mentioned in a white paper tabled in Parliament last week has drawn attention as a potential factor in Chavan's departure, a claim though denied by him.

Chavan was the state Congress chief during 2014-19.

He represented Bhokar assembly seat and is also a former MP from Nanded Lok Sabha constituency.   -- PTI
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