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Maha Congress 'leaks': Ex-CM Ashok Chavan quits Congress; more may follow (2nd Ld)

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Maha Congress 'leaks': Ex-CM Ashok Chavan quits Congress; more may follow (2nd Ld)

Mumbai, Feb 12 (IANS) Shocking the Congress, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Shankarrao Chavan quit the party, and also as MLA, amid speculation of many other senior leaders planning to follow suit, here on Monday.

Chavan submitted his resignation to the state Congress President Nana Patole.

Sparking hectic political activity, Chavan, 66, called on Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar this morning before going incommunicado.

A few hours later Chavan’s resignation letter surfaced, he changed his profile on X and then tweeted details that he has quit the Congress.

In his letter, he has also written by hand ‘former’ (maaji) MLA from Bhokar Assembly constituency, but has not cited any reasons for his move.

Soon after the developments, Patole has air-dashed to Chhattisgarh to meet Rahul Gandhi on his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and then will go to New Delhi to discuss the issue with party bigwigs on Chavan’s abrupt decision.

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Simultaneously, political circles were agog with conjectures of the probability of several other legislators and leaders following in Chavan’s footsteps.

This is the third major ‘leak’ to rock the Congress in the New Year, with more in the pipeline.

On January 14, former Union minister Milind M. Deora dumped the Congress to join Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and senior leader and ex-MLA Baba Ziauddin Siddique quit to join Nationalist Congress Party led by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

Chavan’s move evoked sharp reactions from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders including Shiv Sena-UBT President and ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, Congress state President Nana Patole, Congress’ Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Vijay Wadettiwar and Shiv Sena-UBT’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve, Sanjay Raut and Priyanka Chaturvedi, both MPs, Atul Londhe and others form the three allies.

The state Congress leaders are meeting this afternoon to discuss the ramifications of the unfolding political situation and brace for more shocks in the coming days at various levels.

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Hailing from a leading political family of Nanded, Chavan was the state CM from December 2008-November 2010, and had quit after he faced allegations in the infamous Adarsh Society scam.

–IANS

qn/uk

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